Friday, November 14, 2014

"Show Your Thanks By Giving To Others"

Throughout the holiday season is a great time for us to remember to give to others. Patrice came up with a great slogan for our Thanksgiving special on Holiday Fun with Hillary.

 "Show your thanks by giving to others"

I love it! What a wonderful reminder the holidays give us to reach out and serve in our community.

Two great examples that we talked about on the show were the Amherst Survival and Foster Care bags for DCF. I am including more information in this post for those that would like to learn more about these organizations. 

If you do not live in the Pioneer Valley, I encourage you to research similar organizations in your area. 

I was very surprised at how much these organizations do to assist others, I invite you to take a look...


The Amherst Survival Center is an incredible place! Continue reading to view their services and for ways to help!
Hours:   Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 11 am to 3 pm
Open Thursdays until 7 pm
Closed Wednesdays

Open 3rd Saturday of the month, 9:30 am - 11:30 am
(Food Pantry and Community Store ONLY)

Here is a list of the amazing services they provide...
  • Breakfast Bar 11am
  • Hot Lunch 12-1
  • Fresh Produce and Bread 
  • Food Pantry for people who live in 13 towns including Amherst 
  • Community Store 
  • Free Health Clinic M 12:30-1:30pm, TH 5-6pm
  • Lite Supper TH 5-6pm
  • Family Friendly movies TH 3pm, 5pm
  • Community Partners during the week (see website)
There are several ways to help...
  • They are always looking for volunteers.
  • Donations of food, personal care items, diapers, or funds.
  • They are also looking for people, schools, or organizations to run food and diaper drives.
  • Thanksgiving boxes ($10 gift certificates to grocery stores)
  • Holiday Gift Distribution of new books and games for children (for the month of December)
Check out their website
or their facebook page

Friends of ours fostered a sweet little girl for several months. While they were preparing to foster, they had to take classes. They were informed that most children that are taken out of their homes come with very little or nothing at all. The Department of Children and Families tries to supply them with basic supplies. 

Our friends wanted to do something to help. They organized a service project which involved bringing donations and sorting them. It was an incredible event to take part in. 

Here is the list that we worked from that came from a local DCF branch:

            Hygiene Items:
             (Travel Size)
  • Toothbrushes/ Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Sanitary napkins/ Tampons 
  • Baby items (diapers, wipes, baby shampoo, powder, pacifiers, bibs, onesies)
Blankets are one of the greatest sources of comfort for these children.
(*personal opinion interjection: Fleece blankets are relatively inexpensive to buy or make. They need blankets for all ages (0-18 +). Fleece blankets are a great option if you are considering donating.)

Overnight Bags:
These bags are assembled by DCF workers. They would LOVE to have volunteers sponsor an overnight bag for a specific age child and include items like:

  • Toothbrush/ Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Washcloth
  • Soap
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Brush/ Comb
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear (boy or girl and any sizes are acceptable)
  • Pens/Pencils/Crayons (preferably not markers
  • Books/Coloring books
  • Small toy or stuffed animal
  • A BAG/pillowcase to carry items in
Reusable bags work great and are inexpensive.

*I've heard stories of children lighting up at the sight of these items. Many of them have little to no possessions of their own. These items our THEIRS and it is important to them. When we did this
service project my heart ached. It was so sad to think of these children not having anything. I wanted to buy everything under the sun to put in these bags.

This is an idea that you could do as a family or do over Thanksgiving. You can invite everyone to bring an item from the list when they come to dinner. This would be a great way to do service and be united as a family or group of friends. Even if you gather enough supplies to make one overnight bag, that is one child that will feel loved.

You can look on or your contact your local DCF office (or equivalent) to learn where to drop off your donations.
If you have friends or relatives that foster children, they would also be a good contact.

There are MANY wonderful organizations that help those in need. Now is a great time to search for opportunities to serve.

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and our church has an incredible humanitarian aid program, encourages active community service, and counsels it's members to help care for those around us.

I am proud to be Mormon and to participate in these efforts.

If you have an organization that helps and serves others that you are passionate about, I would love to hear about it. 

It is my hope that you will take the time to serve someone this Thanksgiving season. Hold a door, flash a smile, send a card, bake some cookies, or "pay it forward". Simple works just as well as extravagant. You never know when a small and simple act will greatly change someone's life.

Remember -- Show your thanks by giving to others!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


No comments:

Post a Comment