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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Basics Charity Challenge

Though the drawing for 2011 is now closed please keep giving! There is always a need, and every bit, be it money, items or time, helps so much. 

For Basics Charity Challenge 2012 go here.

  You can scroll down to the bottom for details on the challenge and all the AMAZING prizes we have or read how it came about below. Deadline has been extended 1 week because of all the awesome response!!

I was driving down a main street here in my city and I noticed there was a large sign out front of the Women's Community House, a place for abused women and children to be safe when they leave an abusive situation, that said they desperately needed paper towels.

 Paper towels?

For some reason this hit me hard. We go through an immense amount of paper towels here in my house. Shane is addicted to the things.

   I see these sort of signs frequently and I do donate around Christmas and the start of the school year but for some reason needing paper towels seemed so basic. I don't know why. It's no more basic, well actually a lot less basic, then clothes, food or the safety this place provides.

  I shook my head and continued driving but it wouldn't let up. Here I am always thinking of fabric and just a little ways away someone needs paper towels.
Which I have to buy the premium brand of.

I kept driving.

Until I came up to a grocery store and I just couldn't go past.

I stopped and went in.

I went to the cleaning aisle.

I stopped and looked down.

Paper towels were on sale.

This was just too much for me. I grabbed as many packages as I could carry and went and paid for them. Before I really knew what was happening I was back at the shelter. I had to be buzzed in through two separate doors and then was asked to leave them in the lobby.
  I never actually saw anyone. I know this is for safety as abusers will use all sorts of rouses to get to their victims and workers at these type of shelters are in serious danger as well.

It hurts me so much to think of all these women and children.

I have a husband who would lay down his life for me and my daughter without a thought. He would destroy anyone who would hurt us. And these women didn't even have paper towels.
I know what it is to be scared. I know what it is to be lost. I know what it is to have to have help to get away from someone. I had family to turn to, who could protect me and my daughter.
And I always had paper towels.

the basics charity challenge.


My challenge is this:

   Go drive past your nearest shelter for abused women/children or the homeless.
See if there is a sign, if not call. Ask what they need.
Shelters are always in need of things like paper towels, toilet paper, new underwear, new socks, diapers, new hairbrushes, shampoo, tampons/pads, baby hygiene items, hand soap/sanitizer etc
It won't cost much.

Drop it off.

Come back here and leave me a message that you did it. You don't have to include what you donated if you don't want to, but it may give others some ideas if you do.

If you don't have a shelter nearby, or you can't get there, you can donate to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.Or in Canada the United Way provides funds to many shelters. If  you are international there is the Red Cross. To our Australian friends, feel free to give to anyone of the disaster relief funds for the horrific natural disasters you have suffered recently!

You can earn another entry by tweeting, blogging or mentioning the challenge on facebook. Just leave a separate comment letting me know, with a link.

Grab the button and post it on your blog.

I will draw on February 28th  March 7th 2011 which gives everyone lots of time to get involved.

Prizes. We have lots of absolutely amazing prizes donated by shops and companies who want to get you giving!

The Fat Quarter Shop have so generously donated a $50 gift certificate for their shop.



1 Choice 4 Quilting have also donated TWO $50 gift certificate for their brand new shop!


Kona Fabrics is donating 10 copies of Asian Fabric magazines!

Robert Kaufman is donating a FQ bundle

Mary Abreu of Confessions of a Craft Addict is donating  a copy of her book!!

Julie of jaybird quilts is donating a set of her patterns!

Rachel of p.s. i quilt is also donating some of her patterns!

Bari J's giving away another copy of her book! Read the review I did here.

Pat Sloan is giving away a copy of her book Redwork with a Twist.

Judi from Green Fairy Quilt is donating 5 of her patterns, winners choice!!

Moda is donating a FQ bundle, a roll of Luna Soy Batting and a "Basic Sewing Notions" Kit!

Kelly from I Have A Notion is donation a Fast and Free Volume .5 DVD by Patsy Thompson Designs


 and a Posh Posies Small Quilt Kit by Brewer Sewing and Quilting!

Daisy Janie has donated more prizes! A FQ bundle of her brand new organic line, Shades of Grey!!

Marmalade Fabrics is donating a $30 gift certificate!

Izzy & Ivy Designs is donating patterns as well! Thanks!

221 comments:

1 – 200 of 221   Newer›   Newest»
pirate said...

In the town next to mine, there is a local crisis nursery. It's supported soley by private donations ... no government funds, no tax-payer dollars ... just local companies and regular people.

I'm not terribly good about interacting with little kids but I *can* make quilts. And when the kids leave the crisis nursery to return to their families, they always get to take a quilt with them.

I've been making kid quilts for "my" crisis nursery on an irregular basis. Sometimes I get on a roll and make a whole bunch, which get delivered promptly. Sometimes the quilts get done more slowly so I wait until I have a nice amount to deliver.

That's where I am right now .. I have 2 quilts ready to be delivered and 3 tops next in line to be quilted.

You can see the quilts I made in 2010 on my webpage at http://users.value.net/pirate/quilting/2010-00-charity-quilts/index.htm . I don't have a page made up yet for this year's quilts ... but one will eventually get done.

It makes me feel good to provide such a small comfort to the kids. I'll probably never meet them, but I know my quilts are out there, doing their job.

ana s. said...

I enjoy a quilting group at our senior center that makes crib sized quilts for children. We donate about 400 a year to a variety of local groups. Another group is splitting off to make twin sized quilts for the older children.

It benefits both groups greatly.

My mominlaw makes all kinds of baby crocheted things for the small local hospital.

Vickie said...

Thanks Cara for reminding us that there are others that need help! Sometimes I think we all get wrapped up in our own lives and forget about others! No matter how bad we think we have it there is always someone out there that has it worse.

Marijke Vroomen-Durning said...

Our quilting group donated our year's worth of charity quilts to a local shelter. As one of the executive says, they're for the children (and women) who have the misfortune, yet the fortune, to be there.

When we donated these quilts just a week ago, a member's sister had also donated an equal number of backpacks for the kids, and the group also donated knitted goods, because so many of us knit at meetings as well.

Finally, we save our hotel toiletries to donate to them as well, the little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, etc, so the women have a little something as soon as they arrive. They're small things, but apparently, they're wanted and needed.

Amy said...

I definitely starred this. The news was talking about how our local homeless shelter is in dire need of toiletries and such. I'll definitely donate to them. :)

I also tweeted here: http://twitter.com/niftyfoodie/status/34971906532704256

Hope this brings a bit of awareness to the idea that even though the holidays are over, people still need and appreciate our help!

shellyv said...

I belong to a quilting group in Pakenham which is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. As a group we make quilts for women and children who have had to leave there homes due to domestic violence. We also collect an assortment of essential items such as soap, shampoo, sanitary products, toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc, for the same organisation that provides housing and accomadation for these families. Every fortnight when i do my grocery shopping, i add something extra to put in the box, it may not be much, but if everyone does it, it makes a big difference. We also make quilts for babies in the NICU of our local medical centre.

harleywife57 said...

Hi and thanks ! so far , I shared this on facebook :

www.com.facebook/harleywife

I just donated pillowcases and blankets thru a LQS for various local charities , and will be working on more ; I try to help a local chapter for little angel babies that a friend of my daughters created after her angel left before he was born ; and I donate toiletries to a local food bank ! so many need our help and there are many things we can do that do not require alot of money OR time. Matthew 25:40 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' -- GOD speaking .
God Bless you Cara ! what a GREAT challenge !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dmdflyer said...

I am a retired teacher in Canada. Each year I used to take my students on a trip to either Quebec city or Ottawa. Each year we collected the toiletries that were left in the rooms as the kids usually brought their own personal shampoo, etc. I would add whatever I had collected on my personal trips and then we donated them to the shelter. The small bottles were the right size to give to each person. I continue to do this even now but donate larger sizes to make up for not as many little ones.

I also belong to two Quilt Guilds and we donate to shelters, churches, fire fighters, police, and hospitals. My friend has a longarm that I can use and we make the smaller quilts so the fire fighters can hand them out to the families that are out of their homes.

My friend's daughter runs a New Mother group for women new to our country and have little English. We sew quilts to put in their baby care packages so their newborns are wrapped in love.

Hope I gave you some new ideas for your donation quilts.

Quilt Hollow said...

Members of our guild donate baby to lap size quilts twice a year to our shelter.
I'm not here for your giveaway...just wanted to say your story gave me warm fuzzy feeling this morning....and sadness too. I just couldn't imagine being in a shelter...under the circumstance.

Christine said...

Thanks for the push to help out. Most of us are blessed in our circumstances and able to help out even a little. I made pillowcases for Christmas for the foster home for teens that is nearby. Sometimes a pillowcase is all these kids have to put their stuff in when they move on.

Sara said...

You have hit a soft spot in my heart Cara and I am going to donate. I always say I will do that and then I don't. I come from an abusive childhood home and so this is something that has always been with me. God pulls at me to help. Going to look up a local shelter now and see what they need:)

You are such a true angel girl, don't let anything ever take that away from you--ever.

taliana said...

What a great idea--thanks for doing this! A friend of mine used to volunteer for the women's crisis center in town, and I always meant to do something. I have just donated to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Anonymous said...

What a great post, and thanks for the reminder of the little things we can do & it barely touches the pocketbook. We tend to forget the toiletries for these women's shelters.
I think I will have to add a few extras to my next shopping spree.. !!
Wilma
http://wilmascraftcorner.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

The two towns that I live closest to, have shelters for abused women and children. I make quilts and also tote bags for them ( for when they take the children out of the homes). We do not know where either shelter is...not many do, its for their own protection. We donate to a lady that is a friend of a friend that works there...but most of us know nothing of who she is....for her safety. We do what we can to help them....gladly!

Bev/Mo

SarahB said...

Cara, this is such a wonderful reminder! It's so easy to get wrapped up in our own little busyness and forget that there are so, so many others in need of basics. Since moving a few years ago I'm not sure where the closest women's shelter is, but I'm heading to look it up right now.

Just retweeted and will blog about it soon.

Nicole said...

This is a great idea. I left a message with our local abused women.family shelter, as i have a bunch of hotel room travel size toiletries, the Scott in me makes me take them, but they are not getting used as frequently as I collect them. Hopefully the shelter will let me drop them off. I am also recruiting people I work with who also travel alot to collect these.
Now I am going to try and figure out how to put your button on my blog, I am going to mention this in my blog anyhow.

Renee said...

I have donated about 100 quilts to Project Linus. These quilts go to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. I have also donated to my local police department about 50 quilts for the officers to carry in their squad cars for trama children they come accross. The police can also use them as a clean blanket to hold children in not so clean enviroments. There are so many needs out there, that if each one of us did at least one on a regular basis, the need would be so much less. Thanks

Quilter Bridget said...

What a wonderful thing for you to do! I hope you get a LOT of responses!
My part was to do a donation on-line to the link you provided for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Thanks again!

katek said...

I donate regularly to a teen mother's center near my home. I had planned on donating to the women's abuse crisis center (but never seemed to get around doing it) reading this is giving me the reminder (kick in the pants!) to do it today!

Little Creatable said...

With all the floods in Brisbane I will be donated to the flood relief program, we are also in desperate need of blood so I'm going to give some of mine.

What an awesome idea you have here I will blog it tonight and see if I can get anyone to join in!

Cori Lewis said...

we donated to our local crisis pregnancy center.

Also, I learned that our local ronald mcdonald house needs quilts for teenage boys. They get a lot of girly quilts or little kid quilts but none for teenage boys. We've been inspired to spend the weekend making quilts for them.

Cynthia L. said...

I was in an abusive relationship for 15 years and got the courage to leave when my daughter turned two. I didn't want her to think that type of treatment was acceptable. I have always made battered women's shelters a priority. I just mailed a Quilt for Kids quilt yesterday and plan on taking some gently worn coats to a local church tomorrow. Thanks for reminding us all to reach out to those in need.

Shirley said...

Cara, thank you for taking the time to remind me to care. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

Nicole said...

So - my local shelter is more than happy to have me drop off the toiletries collected from hotels, I am going to my parents this weekend and past my cottage where there are more, so a drop off next week.
I blogged about this as well and put a link to your blog, so hopefully people get the kick in the pants - it is a small thing for most of us I imagine, but makes a difference to the recipients in need.

Sara said...

I posted on my FB page;)

http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=547583017

thelastpiece said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thelastpiece said...

Hi Cara I twittered

thelastpiece said...

and Facebooked!

thelastpiece said...

I've always been involved in charities which is something my mother encouraged us to do, from making quilts for homeless men and children to taking quilts to hospitals, working granting wishes for the Starlight Foundation and most recently, trying to help raise money for the Queensland Flood Appeal!

I'm off to blog now for you, and if you don't mind I will put the emphasis in Australia on donating basics to the people affected by the crisises we have experienced in Australia over the last month - terrifying floods, a devestating cyclone and raging bushfires.

Joy V said...

What a lovely idea Cara. Here in Australia the address/s of our shelters are not advertised for obvious reasons. It is such a sad indictment on our society that we have to have them but unfortunately we do.

My local guild make quilts for the Children's Cancer Ward at The Royal Melb Children's Hospital. We have a 'special' day on the 5th Sat of the month (when it occurs) for a 'sewing day' for the making of these quilts.

We also have a huge tub of material that members donate to and also can take from - with an understanding that what you take is made into a charity quilt.

The next sewing day is being dedicated for victims of our shocking weather disasters which have occurred recently and will be distributed by local guilds in the affected areas.

Jackie said...

Sarah Fielke's blog sent me to you... imagine my surprise when I found another person from Ontario. And my alma mater city no less.
I donate thru my guild.. we give toys to the children in care at CAS. And we give money to the food bank here.

Victoria @ BUMBLE BEANS said...

You may know my charity project
BumbleBeansBASICS.com, we collect quilts for the homeless families being moved into transitional housing... The facilities always need anything that can be donated... I've made and auctioned and raised over 30,000, and the quilt drive is ongoing...We are up nearly up to 200 quilts... and we will be raffling off a sewing machine shortly...

Quilter said...

Hi Cara
I know the shelter, it is where I donate the quilts I make. I've never met anyone there either, just buzz, and drop them off in the bins. I say a lil whisper as I put them in the bins that I hope they might bring Mum's and children a lil comfort as they cuddle in them.

I should have more to donate next month, but I wanted to thank you for reminding us that they also need many of the basic items we take for granted.
hugs,
Ann

Susan said...

Hi Cara, Usually my group donates to a chosen charity each year - quilts or toys, but this year we have neediness in our own back yard with the floods in Queensland. So far we have donated clothes, toys, quilts and personal items for those who have lost everything.

Ladybug said...

Hi Cara,
My local quilt shop has been participating in the million pillow case project. The pillow cases go to the home of the innocence, a place for children who for one reason or another can't be with their families. At the start of this effort I made a deal with myself, I wouldn't go to the quilt shop unless I had a pillow case finished for them. I'm happy to say I still regularly visit and that the wall where they show off the finished products before they are donated is full. This project was special to me because when my cousin was little her comfort object was a pillow case named Gracie. When her partents went through a nasty devorce she came to live with us for a few years. Through her I know the power of having a pillow case that is your own. So that no matter where you lay your head at night you always have a piece of home with you.

rainnwolf said...

Often at the shelters women and children arrive with absolutely nothing but the clothes on their backs. No blankie or much loved stuffed toy, no favorite bed pillow, no slippers that grandma made, nothing...not a thing.

The women need not just everyday clothing but also things to wear to job interviews or court or simply to go outside. You cant do that in your pajamas if that was what you were wearing when you left.

Shoes, a coat, a hat, clean under garments.

The children need the very basics; clothing, under garments, socks, a cuddley toy or a blanki (yes to them these are basic needs).

School age children need not only appropriate clothing but simpler things; a comb, tissues in their pocket, chap stick, school supplies.

Little girls need hair do-dads, moms could use a blow dryer, sanitary products, boys a good comb or hair brush, emory boards, finger nail clippers.
Everyone would love their own tooth brush and tooth paste how about some mouth wash? a bar of soap, some bubble bath, your own wash cloth.

I suggest to everyone look around your own home what do you see?
Those little things that go unnoticed by us day to day.

Shelters can always use toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap, dish soap, cleaning supplies, shampoos, creme rinse, hair spray, any baby items, food items.
It doesn't take that much to throw in an extra item or two at the grocery and to drop it off at a shelter. The difference it can make would astound you!

Do not let the women and children become the things forgotten, they are out there and like each of us they need to feel that they matter.

I speak from experience having been there and then worked there the most painful thing of all that goes with the situation is the feeling that you do not matter the utter despair.

Today is Valentines Day, I'll be dropping off a few boxes of chocolates, not a necessity, just a sweet hug and reminder that someone Is thinking of them.

posted on face book: http://www.facebook.com/notes/re-lacombe/today-rant/110563835688422

Mona @ la la by mona said...

Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. It is easy to get caught up in the daily to-do's and this helped remind me that I need to thank God for the many blessings I have and that He needs me to in turn help and bless others.

I wanted to share this - in the past, I have called my doctor's office and dentist's office and asked for donations for the local shelter. They quite often receive samples of medicine (Tylenol, etc.) and toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc. Most shelters can accept these items as long as they are still in their original packaging.

Collette said...

I took over my daughter's Girl Scout troop a few years back because i was disappointed that all they did during their meetings were small crafts that they tossed when they were finished...I wanted my daughter and the girls to help out in the community ( i wasnt a Girl Scout but always thought that is what it was about) So, i taught the girls to make comfort caps for the local childrens hospital, we make the caps, little premmie snakes, rag quilts for the elderly, i even have them baking pies for the open door mission. I'm not sure if the girls get as much out of it as i do..id like to hope they do, and that when i am no longer their leader next year that they continue or later on seek out opportunities to give and help out the community.

maeve315@msn.com said...

Our quilt guild sews quilts for many charities and donates them all year. I made 2 quilts last year, and will make more this year. My grown daughters and I two weeks ago had a "virtual sew-in" via Internet and cell phone making dresses for "Little Dresses for Africa". I am a board member for our county free medical clinic. Each year, we collect toiletries and other items all year long to make gift bags for our patients at Christmas season. We got the Girl Scouts involved this year in donating and bagging the gifts, and the quilt guild in donating items for the bags. That meant we had many more "gifts" to give out and our patients love this. There is so much each of us can do, it takes all of us, each doing our own thing to make a difference.

Knittin' Diva said...

I am making a blanket delivery this evening, to an organization that serves the homeless. 65 blankets, to teens living on streets, who have been sent out of their foster homes because they have turned 18 years old, but have no place to go. I also have winter hats to share.

I've been doing this for almost 4 years now, and it has become a family event. My 5 & 7 year old boys help pack up the blankets and hats, and go with me for the delivery. It's been a great way to show them why it's important that we "give back".

Thanks for hosting this give-a-way...encouraging others to give back!

Karen Wilson said...

Have blogged about it here.

Haven't made my donation yet because I want to find somewhere local that needs help, but will let you know when I do.

Natasha said...

Just this past weekend, I made a 43" square wheelchair quilt and took to a local nursing home. I asked the nurses to please give it to a person in need of something warm. I wanted someone who recieved few visitors to have something nice. I plan on starting another wheelchair quilt in the next few weeks!

Lindsay Conner said...

What a great challenge for readers to take to heart. I am involved in a mentoring program at a local women and children's shelter, and you are totally right in saying that paper towels and other items are never in enough supply. I've donated handmade winter scarves to our local shelter!

Lindsay Conner said...

I'm also blogging about this giveaway at http://www.lindsaysews.com

webmailaddress2 said...

I recently donated a bunch of toiletries to a local charity's collection drive. What a thoughtful post and giveaway.

Karen Wilson said...

I decided to make my donation to the Domestic Violence Resource Centre in Victoria (Australia). I wanted to move away from the natural disaster relief efforts because they are getting so much media coverage at the moment. The smaller guys will be missing out.

I don't drive so it's hard to go by a shelter (or even find them if you don't know about them), and this centre accepted donations online via Paypal. I was trying to decide how much to donate, wanting to be conservative as my husband is out of work, but not stingy. It automatically sets you up for a $10 donation. As soon as I saw that I realised how small an amount it was, but it funds a print or online publication for people experiencing domestic violence.

Thanks Cara for providing the kick in the butt that we sometimes need to do something so simple.

Cassondra Bailey-Harig said...

We've had our wonderful shelter dog for a year now, and in honor of her adoption, we just drove out to the animal shelter and dropped off several bags of dog and cat food (and some treats for good measure). It's not a women's shelter or homeless shelter, but it is a shelter for abandoned pets. The local shelter budget has been hit hard recently, and our donation was very well received.

Marianne said...

Talk about timing! My LQS recently collected packages of women's panties to donate locally. It seems that is what the shelters needed! Thanks for doing this!

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

This is timing......perfect timing....a goup of ladies and myself worked on a quilt yesterday to give...we do this all the time; get together make quilts..tie them; quilt them ....all different...we also make scarves for the cancer victims...collect things for the pregnancy crisis center....women on their own; abused women....things for their new residences...all sorts of things like that....so thank you for this...I am going to post it on my bloghttp://marjoriesbusycorner.blogspot.com/..hope you can see it there...

Marilyn, OKC said...

My church is located in the heart of downtown and we have a food bank. It's amazing the people who come in, money is given to help pay electric/gas bills, tokens for the bus, and food. Every week we have listed what the bank is low on. Like your post everything from food to your basic everyday necessities, even paper bags so the families can carry their groceries. I too am grateful I have a roof over my head and we can provide for our family. Help is needed every day not just at Christmas. Thanks Cara

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Ok. ......... http://marjoriesbusycorner.blogspot.com/2011/02/special-giveaway-and-help.html....... .I have posted this on my blog

Laurie said...

I'm right in the middle of finishing up a childrens quilt for Quilts for Kids. Children who are in the hospital getting treatment for cancer. This will be my 10th quilt! My Mom just finished making about 30 prs of mittens for a local womans/childrens shelter.
We try to do something twice a year for local charities.

It reminds us on how truly blessed we are.

wendysquilting said...

I bought winter boots for my little grandson who was visiting from Texas.....some were too big. I usually donate all unneeded items to charity, this time one of my girls said to give to the Woman's Shelter because they give items to those who need instead of selling them.

Sheila said...

Last evening I attended our quilt guild meeting and it was our annual Tearman House shower .Every February we donate toiletries , towels , facecloths, quilts , pillowcases , socks , nightware etc . All of the doanted items go to this womens shelter and it feels so good to help out . Oh the other thing that many people donate are the little shampoos and soaps that you get at a hotel , they save them up and donate them on a regular basis . We had a pillow case challenge for these women and made drawstring bags to put their toiletries in when they go to the washroom as they of course do not have a washroom for each woman in the shelter . Some of the pillowcases are made with childrens prints so the children can take their belongings home with them when they leave . Last evening I personnally donated soap , facecloths , towels , socks and a nightdress as well as lotion and I hope these items will help our in some small way .Although Feb. is the month we normally have the shower we also give things to the shelter in Dec. just before Christmas . I thank you for this reminder to help these women and children in their time of need . Sheila

Sheila said...

I just wanted to let you know I have posted about this on my blog not for the giveaway but for the cause that I feel is so very worthwhile , I hope and pray this will put lots of people in motion to help in even a small way as each bit helps . thanks again for starting this challenge !

Stormy Days said...

Thank you for doing this. At our shelter I am one of the few who has been allowed past the doors. The sadness in the women and children's eyes is heartbreaking. Most of these women and children have had to leave their homes with nothing. They need everything. They are afraid to go to work or let the children go to school. Calling is an excellent idea, the needs will change daily. You may want to ask about clothing and if they have children there ask if they need toys.
You've done some good for my heart, thank you.

tellad said...

Wow - what timing - our Sunday School class is adopting a local "new shelter" for unwed mothers and will be supplying the shelter for them to live in (the ones who do not have a loving home to support them) and will be supplying these items along with much more, bedding, etc. Thank you for opening our eyes to our blessings and the fact that we can "do more" for others. God bless you. Teri Dingler

I am Just One Mom said...

Inspiration acted upon yields blessings for all. Thank you for sharing your experience, I will make my call and drop off.
Shelters around the country will be thanking the anonymous you in their prayers.
Well done my quilting sister.

Anonymous said...

I have been donating through my LQS all left over fabric when making a quilt - most of the time 5+ yards at a time because I always buy way more than necessary. They make quilts for different charities and organizations.
Julie
jaaverill@aol.com

Jansie said...

Cara, thank you so much for organizing this. I know exactly where I'm going to go. Most sites have lists of items they desperately need, but mostly I'm seeing they just need basics: diapers, wipes, underwear, baby food, toilet paper, paper towels, etc., as you have already shared.

Here is my blog link asking others to join the challenge: http://jansiesfancies.blogspot.com/2011/02/basic-charity-challenge.html

I am Just One Mom said...

added your Basics Charity Challenge to my blog and have sent this challenge to our church women's org e-list.
A most excellent, do-able plan for good!
http://FabricFulfillingItsDestiny.blogspot.com

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I always donate 1-2 quilts each month to our local Diocies - they are then distributed to area needs such as battered women's shelter, fire victims, families in crisis. Contributed to 1 Million Pillowcases. Sent 1 quilt each month to Iraq while our local doctor was on tour in triage. Donate quilts to area Ronald McDonald Houses and the Children's Cancer Ward.

Sherrill said...

I am all about donating and do it several times a month. Always have quilts going for the county hospital, QOV, HOB, battered women, etc. as well as crocheted baby hats & pillowcases. When we travel, I 'collect' the shampoos & soaps for Ronald McDonald or battered women. Also collect can tabs for Ronald McDonald (our church group serves dinner there once a month) and have made and delivered quilts to the local Fisher House. I know there's always WAY more to be done....

Jackie said...

I like to knit so I made a bunch of hats for the cold winter and donated them to the homeless shelter.
I also make quilts, blankets and hats for a local hospital neonatal unit...altho it isn't charity it is for families in crisis.

Jackie said...

I posted a note to my blog...hopefully there will be more people who help others in their community
http://digigrum.blogspot.com/2011/02/charity-giving.html

Debora said...

This is such a good idea. We always donate around the holidays, you know, gloves, hats, coats, scarves, dolls, etc. But I think it is a good idea to just make it a habit to go by monthly and see what they need. I am thinking specially made pillowcases!

restitcherator said...

A mother in my neighborhood has a friend who is a social worker in a neighboring city. The social worker puts together lists of things her clients need that they can't afford.

Often it's things as simple as paper towels, or toiletries. They always ask for zip lock bags, because many of the homes the kids live in have insects of all kinds. They ask for high sugar cereals because the kids don't get enough to eat.

The mom has put together an email list of about 40 other local moms who respond to her friend's list of requests. It's part of my monthly shopping now to buy extra juice boxes, paper towels and always zip lock bags.

To know that there are children so close to me without enough food to eat, and who need the little food they have saved in zip locks is very hard to know.

There are so many opportunities to give...they're everywhere.

KaHolly said...

Well, that was easy to do, and should become a regular event in my life. Thanks for the reminder to be more mindful of others.

Snoodles said...

I don't drive much, so I made a monetary donation to a shelter in my area of South Carolina...if any one else from SC wants to donate, it was at safeharborsc.org
Thanks, Cara, for reminding us of what we all know - that no matter how tough our road seems like, we are blessed. And we are responsible to reach out cheerfully (and often) to those who need our help. Lovely, moving post.
quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

Snoodles said...

Hi Cara!
Thanks again for a much needed, wonderful post. I don't blog, but I am emailing my friends and asking them to read and participate!
quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

luvtoquilt said...

I meet with a group of women in a weekly Bible study and we, too, became aware of the needs at our women's shelter. They informed us that the women really need personal itms such as shampoo, lotion, etc. One of the things we have been doing is whenever we stay at a hotel, rather than just leaving the hotel samples of soap, etc., we bring them home and give them to the shelter. They are much appreciated, and the women appreciate having their own personal items.

grendelskin said...

I called the local women's/families domestic crisis center and asked them whether they could use a quilt for their annual auction on June 9. They were thrilled! I asked whether they had a preferred size and she said "full size would be great!" gulp. Good thing I have a bit of time, perhaps I can work up something else in the interim for donation along with the auction quilt.

momto2wasd said...

Thank you for providing the impetus to do something! I don't have money to give right now, and I don't have time to make my quilts, but I have a lot of fabric. So I emailed the Eastside Domestic Violence organization in my community, and asked if they'd be interested in new/current fabrics for sewing. She said there are groups who make quilts for them and they'd love to have the fabrics. I'm going to be giving them enough for about 3 or 4 quilts. Woohoo! Thank you!!

Sewlmate Sister said...

All the posts are so inspirational, I started a group to make quilts for children in our local Children's Aid Society. They are given by the worker when a child is taken from the home and goes into a foster home, each quilt has a label and the worker is instructed to put the childs name on it so he has at least one thing that "belongs" to him only!!
We then make full size quilts for teens leaving the system. We get so much pleasure out of giving to these little darlins, that many times have absolutely nothing that belongs to them alone!!!

Sewlmate Sister said...

I forgot to mention, as you did, I saw a need here a few weeks ago when the Australian Quilters were making sewing kits for quilters in Australia, who were affected by the floods. Since it wouldn't be cost effective to send one, I collected money on my blog to send to the girls to help with the shipping costs of these kits!

Robin said...

I belong to a guild that donates a lot of quilts, some of which I help make. I knit hats for babies in third world countries. I also donate home knitted socks and mitts to the Local Salvation Army at Christmas for their hampers

harleywife57 said...

I donated money for 'WINTER WALK 2011 ' for St Margaret's house in So Bend , Indiana ; since I am not able to join in the walk this Sunday ! The funds raised help St. Margaret’s House improve the lives of women who struggle with economic poverty. St. Margaret’s House is a safe, hospitable place where women and children can receive a hot meal, clothing, and help to discover their gifts, learn new skills, and create a better life for themselves and their families. Since I moved about 20 miles away from there , I don't get to donate items to them like I used to . They are a day center and always in need of items (and money to purchase items!) .

Sandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have always donated to women's shelters in communities where we have lived. Often in a small town there is not a lot to go around, so I would take all of my son's clothes that he'd outgrown, toys that he didn't play with , books, stuffed animals, etc. to the local shelter for abused women & kids. I also belong to a quilting group that makes quilts for NICU at one of the hospitals, quilts for teen moms in the inner city, and lap quilts for seniors with dementia. Our quilting group also gathers essential (toiletries, socks, gloves,etc.) for the homeless shelters in our area.
Sometimes the smallest gesture can make a huge difference in someone elses life.
My son has carried on this tradition with helping others. That is all the reward I need.

marilyn said...

Thanks for the challenge. I often shop at the local thrift shop which supports the women/children's sheter and feel really good about getting good deals. But today I need to 'lay down my life' to show love for my friend and pick up a roll or 10 of toilet paper for that same friend who is in the shelter. I need to put aside my time and my wants just for a few minutes and show how much I love these people. It's weird you can show someone love with a roll of toilet paper!

marilyn said...

I blogged aobut your challenge too
http://northhillsquilter.blogspot.com

thanks

Canadian Kristin said...

Such a good reminder, thank you!
Our town has a " birthday bank" at the food bank. For many children whose families rely on the food bank for daily food and toiletries, birthday gifts are often an 'extra' just not part of those kids' childhood experience. This year after Christmas and my own children's birthdays, instead of exchanging doubles or keeping all the "whoa, look at all those gifts you received!" we chose to donate them to the birthday bank to bless other children. It is wonderful for my children to feel that heart-joy from helping other children to have a birthday celebration!

Karen said...

My friends and I make comfort quilts for the local shelters, hospitals and Children Protective Services. There are so many children who need comfort. Never enough quilts to go around so we just keep making them...Thanks for reminding us that we are so lucky!!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Before we head to church each Sunday, my husband and I check to make sure we have a bag of food to bring along. Our church collects for the local food shelf which is very much in need at this time of the year.

Rosa-Munda said...

Cara, I've just spent my afternoon selling items at a table top sale. I raised £75 to give to a project (run by a dear friend) to help rehabilitate teenage boys addicted to drugs in the city of Salvador, Brazil. It is only a small charity, but makes a huge difference to these boys, who in time can return to their families. Ros

The Rx quilter said...

Thank you for reminding us that even the simplest of items are needed by someone somewhere. I needed to read this today and get up and pay if forward. Lisa in Texas

quiltmomdmc said...

Everytime we go to the dentist, we each receive a toothbrush, floss and toothpaste. They seem to be like rabbits in the drawer and multiplied on their own. My husband had the idea of calling the local shelter to see if they could use them -- of course they could. But he took it one step further. He took a large box to work and asked for donations. Not only did the shelter receive dental supplies, but sheets, shampoo and other much needed items.

Beth said...

I belong to an international women's group called Beta Sigma Phi. As one of our service projects we save the soaps, shampoos, cream rinses & hand lotions that you get from hotels when you travel. We donate these to the local women's shelter. They make up little "kits" for the women with these. Then we buy them items from their "wish list" to fill in such as disposable diapers, paper towels, cereal in single serving size and other things. It is so nice to give to others....especially those in need. Keep up the good work.

Melody said...

I felt like crying when I read your post. Theres a group here in Denver called Volunteers of America. They've bought a couple of the older motels on Colfax right by the hospital where I work and put up homeless families or battered women and their kids. They also help us out with taking in individuals who don't need to be in the hospital but are too in need of something, like temporary wound care or oxygen, to go right back out on the street. I called yesterday when I read your post and found they really need towels and hygiene products. I went to Wally World and bought several of the 12 packs of wash cloths and bundles of towels along with shampoo, conditioner, tampons and pads, soap, and deoderant. I dropped them off on my way to work yesterday. Too easy and I plan to do that every month from now on. I know they won't all be that big a bundle but hopefully some will be bigger. I also plan to talk to them about donating time.

Thank you so much for reminding me of something we used to do a lot when the DXH was alive. And kicking me gently in the butt to do it again.

Jessica said...

I live in Queensland, Australia. When the floods happened I really wanted to get out there and help but with 2 littlies I couldn't. I have been able to donate a quilt called Happy Cars which is going to a 3 yr old boy whose family lost everything. I have also just finished sewing up 2 quilt tops for the Quilts for Qld appeal.

lindaroo said...

At the risk of sharing TMI: when I stopped needing monthly feminine supplies, I continued buying them, and i take them to our local shelter.

Ms. De said...

Wonderful idea and so great to read all the comments ~ I believe quilters are some of the most generous people I know! I am a single mom and would love to buy as many paper towels as I could, but unfortunately the budget does not allow, however, I have scraps from other people who sew and even today have worked on two baby quilts for homeless mothers my church is working with. There are so many things we can do to help others and I see so many great ideas here! I wouldn't be here today if I had not had the help that so many people have given me! Thanks Cara for sharing!! Be Blessed!!

Laurel H. said...

I actually already do this--a lot. I have been sewing a LOT of things they need, such as crib sheets, grocery bags for Food Bank items, just to name a few. I also sew small bags for hotel size toiletries. When I can, I have purchased toiletries and such. Ironic; just today at our charity sewing circle, we were discussing the very real need for paper items, such as toilet paper.

Mary Lou said...

It's funny that this should come up now. I took some stuff by our local women's shelter just yesterday for the first time. I plan to take more stuff as I am trying to declutter my house and I have lots of stuff that needs to go and a friend of mine suggested the shelter instead of Goodwill. I hopefully will be able to make something to give soon.

Sheila said...

I just donated some non-perishable food. Thanks for the reminder! SheilaP52 at yahoo dot com

Laine from JustPlainLaine.com said...

ohmygoodness....I passed our local senior center today and they needed items for Emergency Supplies for shut-ins. I went in. I asked. I cried. They wanted individual packages of cereal because it could be eaten with or without milk in an emergency. They also needed boxes of juice. Apple preferred. I tried to imagine my 85 year old mother living off boxed cereal and apple juice while we were recovering from a hurricane. Heartbreaking. Thank you for this challenge. It opened my Heart!

Laine from JustPlainLaine.com said...

Hi again Cara. I blogged and tweeted your Challenge.

http://JustPlainLaine.com
http://twitter.com/#JustPlainLaine

Thanks again for such a moving challenge.

Laine

Anonymous said...

I have made a quilt for a local charity called "My Very Own Blanket" given to kids in foster care. Also, I take my boys with me to serve meals for the homeless family shelter every 2 months. They are too young to be in the kitchen so we serve as waiters/waitress. We took a new coat in Dec. to give away & in Feb. we gave books.
Deanna

Dianne said...

So far this year, I've donated crocheted afghans to Community Pregnancy. They use them in the layette sets they give to new moms. Whenever I see a good sale on infant onesies or tshirts, I pick them up to donate there, as well. I've sent twelve pillowcases to Cleveland Clinic for pediatric cancer patients and I completed six maternity kits for the Craft Hope challenge for Haiti. I do almost all charity crafting, it seems, because it is so fulfilling and there are so, so many needs out there.

Melissa said...

Thank you for the reminder and push I needed to finally gather up the things I've been meaning to donate and actually donate them. I grabbed bathroom and panty essentials- shaving supplies, deodorant, toothpaste, and food. Hopefully, I've made someone's week a little easier by not having to worry about buying some basics and now I know how close our local shelter is and I've hopefully motivated myself to keep picking up an extra here and there when I buy for my family. Thanks again for the reminder/push- it feels nice to hopefully help someone who is struggling to have the basics taken care of, if even for a week or so.

Christina said...

Wow Cara you are very inspirational, thank you for sharing this. After reading your post I have contacted the Fraser Valley Quilt Guild here in BC Canada and I am going to donate some baby quilts to the Preemies at the BC Hospital.
Thank you:)

Nicole said...

Cara - again great post. I got to the shelter finally, though not during business hours, but dropped off a big bag of hotel type goodies. Spoke to the lady there and went back later upon hearing they just had a lady give birth who has nothing....she has a bunch of my girls newborn green/yellow baby clothes now, plus a few other bits and pieces, and even better it is out of my house and in a good home where it is needed. So I asked if the baby happened to be a girl.....thanks for this post, I have been mulling over doing something for them for a while, trying to help, but the hotel thing was the perfect idea. Adding a bit to my grocery trips isn't a problem going forward as well.
This is also on my blog again - www.logcabinyardage.com/blog and it will appear on the Log Cabin Yardage Facebook networked blogs/facebook page

Nicole said...

Oh - I forget - You were my first link!!!!!
I linked to the challenge page (pretty spiffy I think) but I have no clue if the trackback thing works, it wanted me to do something that I have no clue about....so I did nothing....thanks again for the post, seems you are spurring some action so good job

Kim said...

I made quilts to donate to different programs, more towards children. I will also be dropping off knitted hats to my local yarn shop. Hubby and I also do volunteer work weekly.

Jenny said...

Its so wonderful to see so many others blogging about your charity mission. I loved hearing your story of how you could not continue without donating paper towels!
each month our church collects for a different local charity. each month, the kids and i see how the new charity it and what they need. My younger son helps me find the items at the grocery or in the pantry...both kids carry in the donation and are the ones to place them in the donation box at church. they know we are donating to others how dont have as much as we do. such an easy way to provide such an important lesson. thanks for getting the message out!

Ly + Alan said...

Our local homeless shelter was in desperate need of tuna fish and peanut butter. I guess they get lots of donations around the holidays but then after that they tend to struggle with having enough food for people. It's so sad - and often the grocery store has fabulous deals on tuna. So we have a drive at our local church where members can put tuna & PB in boxes that we take to the shelter.

Love your idea for this "giveaway" -- a great way to inspire others to serve those around them!

Cheryl said...

Every Year I donate to the womans shelter here in las vegas and shade tree. I take boxes of personal items, toys for the kids and clothing.

Marianne, aka Ranger Anna said...

I'm posting with a note of thanks. When we adopted our older, special needs son, he arrived with 4 diapers, 2 bottles of formula, 2 borrowed onesies~~~~~~ and an ABC Quilt. It was obviously made by kids at Sunday School or VBS. He's 20 years old now and last year when we changed his room from a kid room to an adult room, I asked if he still wanted his ABC quilt on the wall. Without hesitation, he said yes. It's been there with him all the time, every day. It meant the world to us then as it does now.

My thanks and blessings to all who care for those in need. My son was in need, and someone answered the call.

Marianne, aka Ranger Anna said...

I'm posting with a note of thanks. When we adopted our older, special needs son, he arrived with 4 diapers, 2 bottles of formula, 2 borrowed onesies~~~~~~ and an ABC Quilt. It was obviously made by kids at Sunday School or VBS. He's 20 years old now and last year when we changed his room from a kid room to an adult room, I asked if he still wanted his ABC quilt on the wall. Without hesitation, he said yes. It's been there with him all the time, every day. It meant the world to us then as it does now.

My thanks and blessings to all who care for those in need. My son was in need, and someone answered the call.

Melissa said...

Money is really tight at my house right now, but I still donate to a local not for profit. SafePath, here in Marietta, GA, is for kids that have been sexually abused. They have some awesome staff and teach classes to help parents know how to best help their child after abuse. I donate fabric for the kids to make "sweet dreams" pillows, teddy bears when I find them on sale, and make some small cuddly sized blankets for the little guys to wrap up in when they are scared. It hurts me that places like this are needed but it is rewarding to be able to help out in some way.

Thanks for reminding us to give a little to those in need:)

Melissa said...

I posted your challenge on FB:)

http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000692529662

Patty said...

My Mother passed away in January and my Father in March, so each year on the anniversaries of their deaths I send a monetary donation to a ladies & childrens shelter in a near by town. I consider it my gifts in memory of my parents.

Our quilt guild has donated 150 pillowcases to the same shelter and 10 baby quilts last year.

Laura said...

I have donated several pillowcases at our local quilt shop to be included in the Million Pillowcase challenge. Today, because of your charity, I have made 6 more. I am going to go a step farther with this donation, though. Our pillowcases go to the local women's shelter or homeless shelter and this time I am going to send 6 new pillows for the pillowcases. Thank you for your sweet story and kind heart. I will let you know when they have been delivered.

timelady said...

Not after a prize,just want to join in. After the Queensland floods here in Australia, my quilting buddies and i had a few weekends of frenzied quilting, and have made 8 quilts, from cot through to queen size. We are also making cots to donate to Ronald McDonald house (for families who have need of somewhere to stay while children have treatment in hospital, often for sadly terminal conditions). We are doing some for women's shelters, and to give to charities such as the RSPCA to auction off as prizes. We are keeping even our cuttings and unusable scraps to fill scrap animal beds for shelters. And we are just 3 women, plus 3 or 4 occasional joiners in. The joy we get out of making these is incredible. The hope that an ill child, or a woman who has had to leave everything she owns for her own safety, or a family who has loft everything, can be wrapped in our love as well as warmth,t o know someone CARED enough to put the effort in - well, that is all the reward we could ask for. It is so moving to think we may be offering a small thread of hope.

I think what you are doing is wonderful, Cara, and giving us all ideas and focus is such a valuable thing. Keep it up.

timelady said...

Ahem. So much for checking spelling. We are not making cots to donate, we are making quilts, and why i typed THAT, i will never know. More tea needed...

Kristy said...

I have donated to our local resource center. It assists low income & needy families. I also donate to our local food bank, as our chickens lay more eggs than we can eat.

Kristy said...

I've also posted on my blog :0) Thank you for bringing attention to something that most overlook as a simple need, when in fact, it is a big need that affects someone.

Brenda said...

Our family has donated time and energy to a local woman's home. We have painted, fixed broken items, sorted and reorganized supplies. Done any jobs that they have needed.
We have also prepared and served meals for a local kitchen that provides food and assistance for the homeless.

Heather said...

I tweeted about it before I even knew there was a giveaway. As a former police detective that worked with family crisis cases and as a current foster parent, my heart simply bleeds for the need that is around us every single day. Thank you for putting a spot light on what we can do.

allison said...

I regularly donate to our local childrens' home (medically fragile children and residential & community-based services to children who have been abused or neglected). After reading your post, though, I donated to our local shelter for women and children also. Thank you for the encouragement...we can always find a way to do something, we just need a little reminder sometimes!

allison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
allison said...

...and then I had to post on my blog to encourage my buddies to go out and give.
Thank you again for a great reminder of what we can do for others.

http://actofsweetness.blogspot.com/2011/02/basics-charity-challenge.html

wishes, true and kind said...

My husband and I recently started supporting (both financially and by prayer) an organization -- Abuse Recovery Ministry & Services (ARMS)-- which provides faith-based
recovery classes to educate, encourage and support women who are facing or recovering from domestic abuse and violence; intervention classes for men; intervention classes for women who are using abusive behaviors but may also be victims; presentations on healthy relationships for church & school youth groups; parenting classes for men & women whose children have witnessed domestic abuse. Although we send monthly support, I have made another financial gift. The ARMS program is spreading quickly around the state and into other states. I love that they have recovery programs for abusers as well as victims to stop the cycle of abuse.

Joan

wishes, true and kind said...

I RTed your tweet about the charity challenge.

sue said...

My local quilt group also donates regularly to a women's shelter. I've read the comments and gotten ideas and also wanted to pass on a few other ideas. Whenever I finish a quilt, I then make a childrens quilt to donate - or a pillowcase. I also buy clothes when I see them on clearance (and since you're not looking for a specific age, you can really get some good deals). Also, when I make a holiday item for my grandchildren, I make a few more to donate. And lastly, I think a group shower is a fantastic idea. I guess the hardest part is doing it all year and not waiting for Christmas - their needs are there every day.

stichnRN said...

we have a local homeless shelter. i took all the shampoo, conditioner, lotion bottles as well as the coffee i take from the many hotel rooms when traveling. the little kids love the little bottles. i also took some big size bottles. nothing like clean hair when everything is falling apart.
stuck in some hand sanitizer i over bought too.

Laura said...

LOVE this post! Thank you so much for bringing the needs to the attention of so many.
This month I have had the priviledge to donate to Share Our Shoes which provides shoes to our local area, throughout the US, and worldwide. I've had the chance to send dress shirts and ties to be handed out to pastors in Africa. Your post has reminded me I also have a delivery to make this week of toiletries to donate to another local church who will hand them out each weekend to homeless in our area. And last but not least I'll be mailing out 2 quilt tops to Retromummy for the Quilts for Queensland this week.
Thank you for the reminder to keep my eyes open for ways to bless others.

Sandy said...

Cara, I deleted my comment about my donation to our local hospice because I didn't think that it fit with your challenge. I am still not sure that it does. BUT, I have posted about your challenge on my blog.

Thanks so much for your good heart.

Patti said...

Thanks for doing this Cara. I donated a baby quilt to our local crisis nursery. We tend to forget that people just need some basics.

mamadevlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mamadevlin said...

I have been a clothing leader for a local 4-H club for 17 years. Every year I try to do some sort of sewing community service project with the kids. I want the kids to realize that sewing isn't just about making things for themselves and that through sewing you have the power to help others. This year we decided to participate in the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. Our kids made 2 pillowcases, one to keep and one to give away. I could see in their eyes after they made their pillowcases how hard it was going to be for them to give up their precious handmade item. But after explaining to them where their pillowcases would go they were happy to give them to someone who needed them more than they did. We are donating our pillowcases to our local Women's Shelter. I had one little girl make three pillowcases when she found out why a Women's Shelter existed! Thank you for reminding us that sometimes life really is about "paper towels".

Nanbon44 said...

Thanks for the wonderful story, I belong to a online small charity group who cross stitches squares and those squares are made into quilts,tote, bags, and other items. these are donated to nursing homes, a abused women and children's shelter, Ronald McDonald House and cancer patients and ill children whose names are sent to us. Last year I made 14 quilts for the group. after reading your story I called Favor House *shelter* and they needed toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs, hair brushes... I went to the dollar store and loaded up the basket and made my delivery.

lee said...

My family has been doing this for years, but I decided to step it up this week. I posted a note on my facebook page challenging my friends to do something locally and my family will make a trip to the food bank, not just donating what we don't like or want, but everyone is giving up something they love and they know that others will love it too.

Laura said...

I used to work for a domestic violence shelter so I know how much the basics are needed there. Thank you for reminding everyone. We donated to our local shelter.

Laura said...

I tweeted about this http://twitter.com/#!/lauraselph

Wendi said...

What a great idea! My husband and I support our local CAN council. This organization helps abused and neglected children. We just donated an American flag for their auction on Feb. 24,2011. If you google CAN council Saginaw Michigan you can view all the items that are up for auction.
Thanks
Wendi Morris
lwmorris1@gmail.com

Amy said...

After reading yours and Rachel's post, I've started a supply drive for an area domestic violence shelter. I've facebooked it and called area organizations to help too! Every little bit helps!!!!
Thanks for the reminder :)

Jodie said...

We have a local charity in town called "Interfaith". It is run by a church group, but helps the homeless and women and children. I normally several time a year donate new blankets that I purchase and my children and I go and they pick out canned goods. So I was on a run to bring blankets and the people that help you unload are people that are staying at the shelter and volunteer as a way to work off their stay. The day I went their was a middle aged women helping me unload. She asked if I had any clothes in my bag of blankets since we looked about the same size. She then told me about how she left her husband who was abusive and how he had burned all her clothing. I just can not imagine having to deal with that. I hav such a loving caring husband. I left their just sobbing, feeling like I so wanted to do something for her. So it motivated me to go home and clean out my over abundant closet. The clothes I might wear someday if I loose weight. The sweaters I have way to many of for the few cold times we have in Florida. I went back the next day and she was not working then, but I spoke to person in charge that said she would be helping later and he would set aside the two bag for her. I wish I would have seen her, but in my heart, I was just glad to be helping someone in need to hopefully lift up her sprits and get her going on a healthier, happier track in life. Giving always makes you feel good. Thanks for sponsoring this, was a great idea.

Kate said...

In our town, the YWCA is the women/children's crisis center. I checked the list this morning and dropped off deodorant, pads, tampons, baby wipes and dryer sheets - all basics that I wouldn't have even thought of without a kick in the pants. Thanks for the kick in the pants. :)

Laura said...

I just wanted to thank you, again, for highlighting this need. I donated the pillowcases I made with pillows to our local women's shelter and picked up several pillowcases donated through our LQS and delivered them as well. I blogged about your charity challenge on my blog and hope more are inspired by what you have begun.

Carla said...

The addressess are not given out here to the shelters. I just donated several boxes of things last week to the local humane shelter and also to their thrift store.

Carla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

As you say, the simplest things can mean so very, very much.
Aged 86, my mum has just had eye surgery and was inspired by another patient to pick up her knitting needles, since she could knit by touch, and made squares for 3 bed quilts before she could see well enough to sew them together. So her convalescence was used in a very positive, life affirming way.
Along with several of my child and cot quilts made from 'leftovers' they are being used in the first instance as packing to ship 2nd hand wheelchairs refurbished by volunteers to an AIDS orphanage in Romania,before being given to the children to brighten their rather utilitarian environment. The orphange relies on the help sent from the UK to be able to make a cheery home for any and all children who are sent to them, no matter how disabled they are.
We recently received photos of some of the children choosing their blanket/quilt which were very moving.

Carla said...

I hope this link works now. I shared on facebook.
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=1242524915

Emily S said...

I recently lost quite a bit of weight and was about to take my wardrobe that no longer fit to a resale shop when I saw your post and thought that perhaps some of those women would need a professional outfit for work or interviews. My local domestic violence center was thrilled! I stopped on the way for a few supplies they needed as well. Thank you for making me think of them!

Delores said...

I support our women's shelter by donating deodorant, toothpaste, etc. at Christmas.

Our quilt guild has a "Scrap Table" where quilters bring any scraps, patterns, magazines, fabric, etc. that they no longer want. Anyone can take the items and they make what they think is a reasonable donation. Each year we give approximately $1,200.00 to Somenos House, our local shelter. Amazing how all those quarters add up and everyone benefits!

Our guild also makes community quilts and some of those go the women's shelter as well.

Thanks for issuing this challenge and to all your sponsors who donated prizes.

momma said...

The school I work at collects food and essential basics to redistribute not only to our families in need but to our United Way branch, I regularly donate, having briefly been a recipient of such valued charity as a kid, it wouldn't enter my head not to as my fortunes have changed.

Redheadharper said...

I am a closet couponer. I reguarly get free products and donate them. I have my own mini stockpile so when I have too many of certain item or products that I don't use or someone asks for donations, my stockpile is always the first place I go. It's really a shame to have 15 tube so toothpaste for a two person household! Thanks for reminding me that it is time to get a bag or two together and for encouraging me to branch out to other charitable groups in need.

Melody said...

Made another trip to donate today. I had the idea this morning to stop at Goodwill to buy towels and found lots. Some were very gently used and some were brand new. I decided to go for a womens shelter this time and when I dropped off things to the office had a chance to talk to them about volunteering. Feels like a very good day. Thanks again Cara.

Tiffany said...

Today, I made a donation today to the NCADV. As a survivor of abuse, it's my hope that the broken spirit and soul of a man, woman, or child will know that even in the darkest of times that there are still good, caring people in this world. I am also going through my closet to donate some clothing to a local thrift shop that helps give female ex-prisoners a new start on life post incarceration and teaches them the basics of clothing, housing and feeding their families upon release.

Quilting Nana said...

Cara - Thank you so much for bringing awareness to this subject that is so near and dear to my heart. I was one of these women 24 years ago when it was hard to get support and embarrassing to ask for help for many reasons. By the grace of God I am alive and now spend 3 Saturdays a month volunteering in shelters and also make many other "special" quilts.

Our quilt guild also makes "STAR" quilts that we donate to the Sheriffs department to give to abused men, women and children in hopes that they provide comfort in there horrific circumstances.

Schools also need help to provide tutors to the children of homeless children. Even 1 hour a week is a precious commodity to these kids.

There are no words to express the gratitude to you for posting this.

SingleGirlQuilts said...

Thank you so much for doing this! It took me a while to figure out what to do since I don't much extra money, but then I realized that I had a gift card that I had not used. I went online to the website for our local family abuse shelter to see what they needed most. Then I went out and used my gift card to buy receiving blankets to go in their kits for new moms.
Thanks for your story and for inspiring so many to find a way to help!

SingleGirlQuilts said...

I also posted about the challenge on my blog.
http://singlegirlquilts.blogspot.com

jessi said...

we gave our local food bank peanut butter because they said they always need peanut butter!

Anne said...

Our Red Cross is actively helping victims of a fatal natural gas explosion in our town. They mostly need money. But our Salvation Army always wants garbage bags and WaWa. Gift certificates. Our donations are always received with gratitude. You are a good organizer Cara.

Michelle said...

I am a regular supporter of a shelter in my hometown. I am a huge couponer and get free or even discounted stuff weekly, these all go into a bin that get taken to the shelter every 3 months. It costs me nothing but time!

BJ in TX said...

Very inspirational post. You have motivated me to do what I can do, locally. I am going to try to locate a women's shelter in my area - have thought about it many times over the years, but never acted on it. Thank you!

Jodie B-C said...

I was able to donate new baby items to an organization that helps at risk pregnant moms so they have the basics for their newborns!

Sandy said...

God Bless you for this wonderful challenge. It touched my heart deeply. I went on-line to the website for our local Ronald McDonald House and printed off their Wish List, which includes things like paper towels, paper plates, laundry soap, trash bags, etc. They even had the great idea for families or organizations to organize a “Wish List Drive” for specific items that are needed; things like a “Laundry Bonanza”, a “Paper-palooza”, or a “Zip-Loc-O-Rama." I will keep this list on my refrigerator and donate items once a month (I'm off to the store right now!). I will also post about this on my blogs. Thanks again, this is a wonderful thing.

Melisa said...

This is wonderful! You've inspired me to reach out to Safehomes of Augusta, GA and I'll be dropping off a load of baby things to them! I also learned about a group of ladies that meet and make bags for women going through Breast Cancer treatments. This was a wonderful challenge and I am so happy to take part. I'm also going to facebook this!
Melisa

Sandy said...

I posted about this on both my blogs:
http://sandysewz.blogspot.com/2011/02/giving-back.html

and

http://sunflowerzcrochet.blogspot.com/2011/02/giving-back.html

Gidget said...

Thank you for the reminder!
I checked with our local Shelter and they have a 'wish list' online.
I took my daughter with me to our dollar store and bought as many supplies as we could for the shelter. We also each made a stocking cap. We delivered all the goods today. My daughter always wondered what that house was for, what a great thing to do with her and show her.
Thank you again for the reminder!

Sandy said...

I went and delivered the stuff I purchased from their wish list to the Ronald McDonald house today; they were so appreciative of everything. I also found out that they accept donations of quilts and blankets, so I'll be sewing up some rag quilts to donate there too!

Deonn said...

In my quilt guild, one of our guild missions is to provide charity opportunities to benefit our community. Over the past year we have made around 110 baby quilts and 46 cheery pillowcases to be donated to Primary Children's Hospital, Project Linus and Children's Justice Centers. My daughters and I have helped with these endeavor, and we really enjoy our time together tying these quilts and making these pillowcases.

Jen said...

I volunteer at a Children's Advocacy Center in Texas where children are taken once removed from their home by police or CPS. They are always in need of random things - clorox wipes, paper towels, wooden trains for the train track because the trains seem to go home with kids, etc. I started volunteering there after seeing a news story about centers like these who are seeing a decrease in donations due to the economy but an increase in the number of kids who are brought there due to the stresses of the economy. I called the next day, put my application in and started working the following week. It's now as much a part of my life as my job.

pjbear said...

I live in Australia a country area where there were some floods just recently. In fact I was unable to get to work for three days (was a hopeless mess at the end of it) So I have given a donation to our local flood relief. I was so fortunate that I was unable to go to work. Others were less fortunate than me.

saralynn said...

ive worked with a local group of "quilt for a cause" type things made several quilts for them =)

Sandy said...

I save all the little unopened bottles of Shampoo and conditioner and little bars of soap from all the hotels that I stay in throughout the year. I will be dropping these along with some childrens toys. It is always upsetting to think of what the children go through when a woman has to leave everything behind for the safety of herself and her children. What I hadn't really thought about before I started doing this is that these poor women can't even leave the safety of the shelter to shop for toys for their children for Christmas or birthdays. I always have to thank the Lord for the wonderful husband and family I have, because there are sooo many who are so much worse off. Thanks for the reminder that we really can make a huge difference in someones life. I will be dropping off what I have collected so far along with a gift card for the shelter so that they can get some needed supplies.

Lisa Marie said...

Your post inspired me. I went through my closet and pulled out a big stack of gently worn clothes and shoes. Then I gathered up some seldom used kitchen utensils and such, a boombox we no longer used, etc. I took it all to the local abused women's shelter. You would have thought I gave them a million dollars! What a good feeling. I also took baby quilts to a crisis pregnancy center.

Dee said...

Our guild has a community quilt program where you can donate fabric, make quilts, tie or quilt or bind. Recently a few of us gals got together for a community quilts "retreat" where 8 of us got together for a weekend of making quilts for our community - what fun way to get together and share while accomplishing quilts for the community. We donate to Habitat, the hospital, homeless and shelters. It was so much fun to get together and rummage thru the misc. fabrics we had, and make quilts - no pressure like one would have for a regular retreat of preparing ahead. We have over 100 members in our guild - and this is a way small groups can gather.

allcounty said...

Giving to others is an awesome feeling.Not long ago I made and donated 26 pillow case. Then as a group of us we also made 36 pillow cases for womens shelter and we have also made quilts for foster children. It is a honor to make or give to those who you can brighten their day. Thanks for reminding us. Karin E :)

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

Very inspiring posts ....all of them. Thank you Cara for reminding us..we all need a little push sometimes.
I save the little bottles of shampoo/soap when I travel. They are the perfect personal size. I have also packed up a box of shoes and purses to drop off.
Maybe I will phone and ask what else is needed, too.

Mary said...

Thanks for the reminder to do something today to help the less fortunate. I know where my local homeless shelter is, but I don't know where there is a shelter for victims of domestic violence. I will research and do as you suggest.

In the meantime, I have posted your challenge on my FB wall:

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/woody1229

I do little things along the way to help others, but I also have a 13-year old child with severe autism, so to be honest, I'm one of those people who also could use some help! But paying it forward is always a good thing. Thanks again for the nice nudge.

Kirie said...

We don't have a real shelter in our small town, but rather church is gathering all needed items for the poor families which come and ask for help. I regularly buy some kids cloths for them and make donations when there are some special collection. I was also joining the church community in organising holidays for kids from poor families. We were taking them to zoo, cinema, having some craft lessons, etc.
Besides people, I don't foget about animals too ;)

Naomi said...

Hi Cara,

I am from Southern Ontario. I have been thinking of something charitable my boys & I can do together and your post has given me a kick. Thanks to everyone for posting all your ideas. I have been looking online for things we can donate and while I don't have a a musical talent maybe some of you out there do: on our local shelters Wish List:
"As a donor you have a unique opportunity to provide a gift that will allow a child and/or family
some experience that they may not otherwise get such as:
 YMCA passes
 Gift certificates for recreational activities (sports registration, martial arts, skating, swimming, March break camps, Bingeman’s Park, Children’s Museum etc.)
 Gift certificates for music and/or art lessons" >>>for anyone who teaches music your time would be a great gift for a child, not to mention a great self-esteem booster for them!

Susie M said...

I just want to say, even if you aren't "well to do", it doesn't mean you can't find a way to donate and help others.
My husband and I are retired and live on his pension and social security and would be considered lower income level.
I belong to a national group called God's Tiny Angels, (Google this if you are interested). We crochet, knit and sew for needy babies, newborns, preemies, and babies who get their wings too soon. I crochet sweaters, blankets, booties, hats and burial outfits. I also make baby quilts.
Anyway, as most crafters know, yarn has gotten expensive as has quilting materials. So.... I haunt our local Goodwill to get good deals on yarn and material. I've been lucky and frequently bought a whole big box of yarn for $5. Sometimes I find nice chunks of material for really cheap. I also have my kids trained to give me gift cards for Goodwill and our local craft stores for my birthday, Christmas, etc. That way I can afford to buy things I need that I can't find cheap, like the quilt batting, thread, etc. and always buy those items when they are on sale, never full price.
As I am retired I have plenty of time to turn these great finds into much needed and appreciated items for others who are in so much more need than me.
Before I retired, I worked on building up my "stash" as much as I could, knowing it would be hard to afford craft supplies after I retired.
I feel fortunate that in my own small way, I can "pay it forward".

Angela Michaud-Mourer said...

Every week I "drop" me off at our local food pantry and outreach service, run by Bootstraps Community Outreach in Beverly, MA. For about 10 years, I have been volunteering for this organization, both in their Thrift Shop and in the Food Pantry. For me, the gift of my time week in and week out, year after year, has had great meaning. I feel as if I touch the lives of so many. At this time, I volunteer approximately 6 hours each week at the Pantry.

As for sewing for others, I make baby quilts for the Downy Quilts for kids project and also make a blanket for every baby Baptized in our church. One crazy summer I made over 50 tote bags to be sold to benefit Cape Ann Animal Aid.

Obviously, giving to community is high on my priority list.

Regena said...

Well, since I just saw this I will post it to my facebook immediately. When i donate, I will come back!! Even without the prizes, this is an excellent challenge!!!
I only know of one homeless shelter in my area and we just donated a bunch of clothes to a different charity,and I am in love with the pillowcase challenge but paper towels and tp....that's a no brainer!!

VickiT said...

You are so right Cara. The abused women's shelters are always in need of many of the basic supplies and more. SO many of these women in those shelters are there because they escaped a horrible situation at home. Many of them leave after having planned the exacct time to do so along with their children when they know their man, whether husband or boyfriend, is gone to work or maybe went out for the night with the guys. They leave quick and usually with nothing more than what is on their back. The children are scared and Mom many times doesn't have time to pack all their toys and clothing and will take maybe just one of their childrens favorite toys just to get out and into the shelter for their safety. It's sad to be in that type situation and sometimes really hard to even absorb in our own minds how horrible it must be.

Anytime we are getting rid of things the first place I donate all those things to is the abused womens shelter. All of those women who left with nothing go through a lot of counseling along with thier kids and then are put back out on their own once they are ready to go. When they leave, they have not much more than what they came to the shelter with but, most of the shelters do give them things to help set up their new homes like pots and pans, dishes, basics like paper towels, toothbrushes and things like that. One time we were getting new living room furniture and another time a new washer and dryer just because I wanted a new one. There was nothing wrong with the old stuff at all. When I called the shelter asking if they could use those things they were thrilled. When they do have things like that it means the women leaving the shelter have more things they need and won't have to buy. I always give to the shelter first because I know those things are given to the women who need a hand to get back on their feet again. Giving to the Salvation Army or Goodwill means they will turn around and sell those items and at times, throw them away if they don't think they are able to sell them. I'd much rather give to an abused women's shelter knowing the items donated are going to be used to help someone get back on their feet again.

Sorry that got kinda long. I was in an abusive marriage once although I was stable enough and the order for protection did help but they are only a piece of paper so you can't count on those. I was lucky enough though to live only about two blocks from the police station in a small town so the times my ex husband did come around to cause trouble the police were there in a matter of minutes so I was lucky that way.

VickiT said...

Also Cara ~ This page is a good one too. On the right side of the page you can enter your zip code or city, state and it will give a list of all women's shelters anywhere near you.

http://www.womenshelters.org/

dara said...

Well Cara I was very happy to participate in this awesome challenge. I brought up your challenge at the dinner table last night and my kids were so excited. Right after dinner we went around the house (I had just done a huge basement clean) and got all the linens and dishes we didn't need. We also got some soap, feminine products and some brand new baby burp cloths and receiving blankets together. We all went to the shelter and my two oldest (8 and 6 years) helped me to deliver the items. They were so pleased as they placed the items in the arms of the women working there. They were equally pleased when they saw a mother with her son that would be benefiting from our donations. This was a great challenge that we will now do on a more frequent basis.

katie z. said...

Thank you for this post. I immediately went to my linen closet and sorted out brand new towels that we've never used for the local shelter that is for homeless families.

OT Quilter said...

Our service day yielded 31 quilts of different sizes that I delivered to one of our members who then took them to Shelter our Sisters. Our members also volunteer to wrap holiday gifts at a local store for donations that go to SOS, too.

Anonymous said...

I donated most of the fleece from my sewing room. It felt so good to get the room a little cleaner. Cathy

Geri said...

I love this challenge Cara. thanks so much for helping women's shelters. I have been donating to ours for a couple of years now. they are so n ice there. The lady who takes the donations said they hardly ever get donations of clothing so I have been taking all outgrown clothes there. Yeserday I took a huge plastic bag of teen girls clothing. when i ask her if she wanted them she said "ABSOLUTELY". Everybody was happy.
I asked her what else they needed and it was paper plates. When I go to Costco next week I plan to pick up some for them.
Geri

Grandmasewnsew said...

Thank you for doing this! I sent a link to your site to all my quilting friends and non-quilters as well. We all need to do our part especially when we have good lives. My woman's shelter said diapers, diapers, diapers. I dropped off diapers in every size, shampoo, children's pj's. Once I was there I was allowed into their lobby and saw some heavily used toys. I came back with some gently used toys that my grandkids didn't use any more. Two women who were staffing the shelter were so happy to see these toys as they get new toys but not expensive ones as these had once been. I really felt good about this. Thanks.

Jen said...

Your story really hit a chord with me...there is a local shelter that I drive by regularly that had a sign up one day that they needed bleach. And I remember thinking, "Wow, really? Bleach? They are so desperately in need that they can't afford bleach..." and so I stopped at the store to pick some up...it really made me think about how much I take for granted in my life. Good for you for bringing attention to this issue!!

Jen said...

entioned on facebook... http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=691845870

Alison said...

I added you information to my blog.
http://fabricexpressions.blogspot.com/

Alison said...

We have a charity sewing day once a month. We donate pillowcases each month to local shelters. We have donated over 1000 pillow cases since we started Jan 2010.

pinsandneedles said...

My husband and I volunteer at the homeless shelter in our neighborhood. They are always in need of items for the homeless. One thing is twin size sheets. After reading your challenge, I went out and bought some to donate. Thanks for this challenge.

Lori said...

Thanks Cara for the nudge back to being more actively involved with my local domestic violence shelter. I was once very involved with the crisis hotline for the shelter and have since had to let that go becasue of other life constraints. I have continue to donate money every year, but it felt nice to actually "push my sleeves up" and deliver some basic necessities---diapers and lady products, crayons and coloring books. Thanks so much for your challenge---just imagine the lives are being impacted by this!

Gale Yawn said...

The quilt guild that I am privileged to be a member of is one of the most giving groups I know of. We have special committees to collect and distribute handmade items from members to Navy-Marine Corps Relief (for newborn babies of needy service members), Center for unwed mothers in the community, Seniors, Hospice, and Women's shelters, and hug-a-bears for emergency personnel. The number of items we donate each year is astounding. We all know that we are blessed and we enjoy making these items and blessing others with them.

Miss Sews-it-all said...

This is a great post, thanks for giving us this reminder to think of others needs in our community, too. And there are also many ways to sew for women and children in shelters, too, and you can visit WeAllSew.com's Sew to Serve page to get some great ideas: http://www.weallsew.com/sew-to-serve/

Cruz said...

Wow, I can't remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but you stopped me in my self-absorbed tracks. Thanks. I donated online to our local fire department's widows and children's fund as a local firefighter recently died as a result of injuries sustained on the job fighting a house fire. I work as a physician on a moble clinic that serves the homeless. Generous neighbors load me down with gently used clothes that I distribute to the patrons of our clinic. Your comments section is full of inspiring ideas to give of ourselves. Thanks again!

Lori said...

I'm on my way! Thank you for the suggestion and the inspiration.

Judy said...

As an Avon Rep I had a lot of extra things on hand, like shower gels, facial cleansers, lotions, etc. I donated boxes of this sort to our local women's shelter. I even included things that weren't "necessities" but make a woman feel better, like cosmetics and colognes. I was thanked profusely by those running the shelter, but the real thanks comes in knowing I helped to make a few women feel a bit better about themselves during a difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cara,
In Germany, there is an organisation called "Tafel" (table) which supplies indigent people with food collected in supermarkets, bakeries ... Every time I harvest fresh fruits from my garden I make a donation.
Thank you for reminding us!

Yours, Karin from Nuremberg in Germany

rebecca said...

it is heart warming to read so many wonderful kind gestures here! we have a wonderful womens shelter and there are many ways i stay involved.
i am a multi media artist and i purchase almost all my art materials from their thrift store. the money goes to the shelters and the thrift store also offers women a chance to return to the work force and gather skills to support them on the road to independence. for one year a group of friends and i would have a scheduled art afternoon for the children living in the shelter. imagine the joy of this for us all! we supplied the art supplies, time and enthusiasm which was surpassed in these young artists! we celebrated our year of service with the painting of a huge mural in the walled play area of the shelter. it was once a stark block wall...now transformed into a delightful bright and joyful mural!

we are now in the midst of a book drive to begin a library for the children and their mothers.

i cannot tell you how fulfilling it is to extend ones hearts to others.
thank you for all you doing here!!

Vintage and Vogue said...

I had been out shopping for some Valentine's treats for my husband, my kids, and granddaughters. I was waiting in a long line of traffic that was being held up for construction. I was fuming that I had places to go and things to do.

I realized that I was in front of the women's shelter here in my small city. I remembered reading this post and looked at the things I had bought...and thought, no one in my family will really miss them...and probably not many of the women and children inside would be getting Valentine's gifts.

Traffic began to move and I drove into the compound and parked. I rang the buzzer and said I had some things to drop off. I was told to wait, that someone would come to the door. Shortly, a woman appeared on the other size of the door. Through a speaker, she asked what I wanted. I told her I was dropping off some Valentine's treats for some of the ladies and kids who were there. I almost laughed--she looked so confused--I guess that this is not a common occurence. She opened the door and I passed her the bag. Again she asked who they were for, and I said, for anyone who needs them. She closed the door, still looking very confused!

It was reading your post that gave me the notion to do this, so thank you so much for making me more aware!

Warmly,
Carol

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