We are reaching out of our normal routine of helping local families in need. We have been very fortunate to have collected so many items lately that our shelves are full. We are in contact with a Memorial Church in Edmond OK, about 27 miles from Moore. They have been very thankful and agreeing to accept our outreach of donations for the many families affected by the deadly tornados in Oklahoma. We will be at the Wal-Mart at Southpoint plaza in Massaponax and will be collecting donations of children’s items this Saturday May 25th 2013 from 8am-2pm. We are currently looking for help with aquiring boxes to ship the items in. We are also looking for help in shipping the boxes to Edmond, OK. The following items are needed and appreciated. B101.5 will be broadcasting so listen for updates on Friday and Saturday.
Monetary Donations for shipping (Paypal button on this page)
Baby Formula and Baby Food (unopened and not expired)
Diapers and wipes
Cases of Water
Sippy cups and bottles
Portable Baby Beds
Children’s clothing size Newborn to 14/16
New packages of kids underwear and socks
Small baby toys such as rattles, teethers and snuggy blankets
New Barbie Dolls and Action Fiqures ( toys a child could carry)
The Baby Blanket
I had made the decision to move forward to make Just A Hand a legal entity in Feb 2009, after helping the family at Christmas 2008. I had prepared my paperwork for a home office use permit and submitted it to the county. They said they would be in contact in 1-2 weeks. That afternoon I received a call from a social worker at Department of Social Services, stating that she had heard of me through a worker in the permit office. She knew I might not be able to help yet but was wondering if I might have anything for a newborn baby that was born on Valentines Day and had just come into custody. She said the baby was going right into foster care and had no one or nothing. What a way to come into the world! I told her I would gather items and bring them to her.
So my daughter and I went shopping. I had a couple of totes of items I had bought at yard sales, but only a couple of sleepers for a baby girl. I bought most everything for this child and filled a diaper bag and some extras which included the most amazing baby blanket. I took them to the social worker and marked the name in my new log book of donations to my first child helped, as Baby Love.
I then spent the remainder of 2009, becoming a legal 501(c)3 non-profit using all of our savings. I purchased items from yard sales and passed out business cards asking for leftovers. I became recognized by the IRS as a legal non-profit in November 2009.
At that time we had an explosion of births in winter 2009 in the county in the DSS system. I struggled to gather the items, picking up, delivering, sorting , washing, packing, and trying to get my information out, so people would know who I was. I was also working a 30+ work week as a chiropractic billing specialist.
In March 2010 I was downsized and lost my job. I searched for work and started thinking God had other plans for me. Maybe I was supposed to do this full-time…..I kept at it and the job search. With our savings gone, my job gone and no prospect of one on the horizon, we started making life changes to accommodate the charity work which was challenging.
The day came when my husband and I had the discussion about how we might have to re-look at things and our ability financially to continue what I was doing. We prayed. A few weeks later we were doing a pick up of donations at a Big Benefit Yard Sale and at The American Legion. We were to set up a tent to put our information out, but trying to be in multiple places proved impossible. I decided to forget the tent and just went to each booth and passed out my information.
I was standing at one booth while a lady was helping someone purchasing some items and spotted a stroller behind her tables. Then I saw it. It was the exact same baby blanket I had bought over a year earlier for that first child Baby Love. The mother then asked if she could help me and I told her the story of the blanket and Baby Love. She looked at me in disbelief and said she had been the foster mother and had just adopted the baby girl in the stroller. She was born on Valentines Day and that was her favorite blanket. There was not a dry eye anywhere near those tables. A lady who had items out from the Belk store that was next to her table said you can have all our stuff. We have already made enough. We ended up with 2 trailer loads and a truck load of all children’s items that day.
We have never looked back and continue to adjust our life to do as much as we can. I am grateful every day for the wonderful people I have met and the generous support of the communities and families that help me to help our communities.