Posts filed under ‘Volunteer Story Book’

Community cheers for Bright Blessings!

(March 24, 2011) – In just eight weeks since Bright Blessings began and completed its move and facility renovations at our new location in Mattthews, the local community has already rallied its support for the cause!  We want to share a few of these remarkable volunteer and special project efforts that have helped us keep the wheels in motion during our move, enabling the programs of Bright Blessings to continue making an impact for thousands of homeless children across our community.

*  Members of a MARA (Matthews Athletic & Recreation Association) basketball Cheer Team spent time together at Bright Blessings filling hundreds of favor bags for the homeless children served by the organization’s Bless-A-Birthday program. 

 *  “Kids For A Cause” at Providence Springs Elementary School in Matthews filled more than two dozen backpacks with snacks, supplies, goodies and care essentials to aid transient homeless students served through Bright Blessings’ Student Birthdays Project. 

*  Over 20 youth from Philadelphia Presbyterian Church in Mint Hill spent hours at Bright Blessings’ new facility helping sort and organize gifts, labeling and shelving books for its Gift of Literacy project, and assembling party kits and supplies. 

*  Middle School students from Christ Covenant Day School worked together for a morning of service at Bright Blessings, selecting and wrapping birthday gifts for for local homeless children ages tots to teens; filling birthday snack bags for transient homeless students; and wrapping and labeling book gift sets. 

*  More than 200 volunteers participated in projects at Bright Blessings during Love Week, a city-wide week of volunteer service led by Elevation Church.  Every day scores of volunteers helped with organization, sorting, wrapping, shelving, and more!

Our greatest thanks to ALL of our dedicated volunteers and supporters who help Bright Blessings bring joy and support to thousands of homeless children across our region every year.

March 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm Leave a comment

Children at Salvation Army Center of Hope benefits from BAAERN’s Birthday Blessings/Toolbox 4 Education drive

Members of BAAERN (from left to right): Ebony Stubbs, Darlene Paschall, Greta Williams, Denae' Brown, and Nina Chenault

CHARLOTTE, NC – Wachovia’s Black/African-American Employee Resource Network (BAAERN) really knocked our socks off this month.  In addition to volunteering at our August party at the Salvation Army Center of Hope, this generous group collected 8,300 school supply items for their Birthday Blessings/Toolbox 4 Education donation drive.

The group collected such an abundance of school supplies, not only were they able to supply the 100 children living at the Salvation Army Center of Hope with back-to-school items, they were also able to give to four other organizations as well!

Said BAAERN committee chairperson, Denae’ Brown: “It brings me to tears each time when I see the room stacked with supplies that we need to sort for all the children. Despite the economic challenges going on in this day and time, people still give and are so willing and enthusiastic about giving as well … We are so thankful for being able to bring joy into someone’s life. “

In addition to coming to our office to help us organize and shelve donations, on August 17, six of BAAERN’s members set off for the second year in a row to help volunteer at our Back-to-School Birthday Bash for children living at the Salvation Army Center of Hope.

BAAERN gifted every child a jumbo bag filled with binders, folders, composition books, spiral notebooks, glue sticks, pencils, pens, markers, colored pencils, a dictionary, a calculator, and a ruler to complement the goodie bags, new books, and candy necklaces provided by Birthday Blessings.

Long-time Birthday Blessings partner, The Fun Bus, joined the festivities so the children could burn off some energy, after they enjoyed birthday cake and cupcakes in celebration of all the August birthdays. The children also enjoyed personalizing and decorating their very own journals and bookmarks.

Said Brown: “There was a mom there who had two children and one on the way. I had an opportunity to hand her daughter the toys that she received for her birthday, and the mom was overwhelmed with gratitude. It’s amazing to think that what some of us take for granted, for someone else is such a joy and such a blessing. I was glad to be able to witness that.”

BAAERN plans to continue making this Birthday Blessings party an annual event for their group, and for that, we are so thankful!

September 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm Leave a comment

Mother’s Day memories at Blessings in the Storm

CHARLOTTE, NC – Blessings in the Storm seeks to be a bridge that takes women and children from homelessness and addiction to being independent and self-sufficient. Sheila Adams, long-time Birthday Blessings friend and Volunteer Party Coordinator, shares her memories from our May Blessings in the Storm celebration.

I helped the ladies paint their babies’ feet or hands to put on clay pots for Mother’s Day. The moms loved the idea, but some of the babies had ticklish feet!  Also, one little girl didn’t want her hands painted. She kept closing her little hands up into fists so I couldn’t paint them!

This was a special time of closeness for me as a volunteer — both physically and emotionally — as I watched the proud mommies carefully paint the names of their children on the pots.  We had impatiens, which were donated by Roundtree Plantation, so the ladies were able to choose which color they wanted, and volunteers planted the flowers into the pots for the moms.

In addition to celebrating Mother’s Day with all the moms, Sheila led the celebration for a one-year-old girl’s birthday, along with one mom’s birthday. Two babies were honored with Blessing Baskets filled with baby-care essentials to help meet their basic needs.

We offer a huge thank you to Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, who donated a tasty meal of chicken, pork, yummy side dishes, and tea.

In addition to serving as the Volunteer Party Coordinator at Blessings in the Storm, Sheila volunteers regularly at our offices, processing donations, wrapping gifts, stuffing goodie bags, whatever needs to be done! We are so grateful to Sheila and our volunteer staff of 30 people, who allow us to make each and every birthday we celebrate one to remember for the children and families we serve.

July 2, 2010 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

Blessing Basket delivers hope, help, and a lasting impact

Amy Cervantes, volunteer executive director, recently shared the following chapter from our volunteer storybook during a recent interview on the Eric and Erica Morning Show on New Life, 91.9.

A volunteer delivered a Blessing Basket to a homeless mother and her five-day old newborn boy. When she walked into the room of this small transitional housing program she found the woman sitting on a couch with the baby next to her, wrapped only in a towel.  This new mother had hardly any expression at all on her face; at a time when most new moms are filled with the profound joys and excitement of parenthood.

As our volunteer approached the woman and her child, she quickly greeted her with an enthusiastic smile and congratulations, and explained that the large basket she was carrying was filled with new baby essentials, clothing and gifts, all for her baby boy.  This woman’s expression and body language immediately changed, as though the weight of the world had been lifted from her shoulders.  She stood to hug our volunteer as she gasped in disbelief and tearfully mumbled her thanks over and over.

Together, they began looking through the basket’s items.  The woman held blankets and baby clothes to her face to take in the freshness of the new gifts. She took time to explore each item – every bottle, pacifier, bib, burp cloth, and more – with childlike enthusiasm and gratitude. She learned how to swaddle her baby, and then dressed the child in a tiny layette.

When our volunteer left, the expressionless mother she had met when she arrived was smiling, hopeful, and cradling her new baby boy with tenderness and joy.  It was a total transformation; a testament that a seemingly small act of kindness and support can have an enormous impact for someone in need, and one that made a lasting impact in the life of our volunteer as well.

Click here to listen to Amy’s interview with Eric and Erica.

Be sure to read Erica’s blog about Birthday Blessings here!

Now in its second year, our Blessing Baskets program continues to help celebrate and support the arrival of homeless babies in shelters and housing programs across the greater Charlotte area. To date, more than 115 homeless babies have been blessed with a basket, providing each with a healthy and positive start to life.

May 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm Leave a comment

Bright Blessings

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