The Cella Jane Team has been talking about Holiday season and as we make our to-do lists one of the things we have discussed is how we want to give to our community & to those going through a hard season of life.
Gift giving to family & friends is a huge part of the season and something that we cherish being able to do, and we also want to highlight how we (and you) can give through service & donations.
3 Places to Donate Items to in Kansas City
Giving The Basics: “Giving the Basics started in the Midwest in 2011 when a small group of people came together to help a family in need. The family was struggling to make ends meet. They were requesting food donations from the local pantry but their basic necessities of life like shampoo, toothpaste, laundry detergent, diapers and toilet paper were not available. These products were not covered by government assistance programs. The family was too embarrassed to ask for these items from other sources, so sadly they went without. The concerned group of people decided something needed to be done. They pooled their resources and agreed to help the family until they were able to help themselves. Giving the Basics was born.” https://www.givingthebasics.org
Hope House: “Hope House is dedicated to making sure every man, woman, and child affected by domestic violence can find refuge and freedom. Our programs range from legal assistance to therapy, making Hope House much more than just a shelter.” You can find items they are in need of here. www.hopehouse.net
Rose Brooks Center: “Each year, Rose Brooks Center reaches over 14,000 individuals and pets. While hundreds of individuals find safety in emergency shelter, thousands more are served outside of shelter each year. We accomplish this through groundbreaking programs and services, built over the past 40 years.” They have a Holiday Store for the families in their programs. You can find details about hours and wish list here. www.rosebrooks.org
3 Places to Volunteer in Kansas City
Ronald McDonald House: There a lot of ways to get involved with a RMH in your area. We love that they have both on site opportunities such as serving a meal or helping with an event & also off-site opportunities like making snack bags and care kits for both kids and adults. We are making plans for a team volunteer day at RMH!
Harvesters: Harvesters is a community food bank in Kansas City & Topeka. They feed 141,500 people every month. It is a great place to volunteer with a group or as a family (but you can also sign up as an individual).
Children’s Mercy Hospital: There are many different ways to volunteer with Children’s Mercy. For families, assembling Happy Kits is a great option. You can do it off-site so anyone in your family can be involved for however long their attention span allows and then you deliver them to Volunteer Services. You can set this up for a family activity on Thanksgiving, or anytime you all get together throughout the year! Information & guidelines can be found here.
2 Organizations to Give to Nationally & Internationally
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp: “The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp was founded in 1988 by Paul Newman to give every child – no matter their illness – the chance to “raise a little hell.” Through a variety of year-round programs offered onsite, in hospitals and clinics, and right in camper homes and communities, we serve more than 20,000 seriously ill children and family members each year.” www.holeinthewallgang.org If you look around on the website a bit you may even see me (Morgan) & Claire. This is an organization very close to our families hearts. Morgan worked 4 summers on summer staff & 4 years living in Connecticut working full-time as the Residential Life Coordinator. Claire spent 4 summers on summer staff and we both continue to volunteer throughout the year. Learn more about giving opportunities here.
Compassion International I have been sponsoring a child from Ecuador since 2016. We exchange letters monthly and Compassion makes this really easy through their online portal. I follow a few bloggers who have gone to meet the child they sponsor and to learn more about the program. They shared all about their journey and experiences, so I feel comfortable and confident that my monthly donation is being used well. Learn more about sponsorships here.
If you have other organizations near and dear to your heart, we would love to hear about them! Please comment below with the donating & volunteer information to share with others.