Posts filed under ‘Volunteer’

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.

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

Shalom Baby families connect and contribute at Birthday Blessings

Photo courtesy of Shalom Baby

Approximately 30 parents and children with Shalom Baby, a local outreach program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, gathered at Birthday Blessings to connect socially through community service.

This energetic group arrived eager to laugh, work, and play—all in a day’s job for busy moms and dads!  Kids and grown-ups alike brought with them bags full of donations of gifts, party supplies, and tons of fantastic favors for goodie bags.  The children gathered around tables and worked in small groups together or with their parents in assembly-line fashion to fill party favor bags.

In all, the group donated and prepared over 100 treat-filled bags that have since delivered lots of birthday cheer to homeless kids across our greater Charlotte community.

Said project organizer Debby Weiss, “Everyone really enjoyed helping for such a great cause.  It is such a wonderful thing Birthday Blessings is doing, and we look forward to helping out again.”

Our biggest thanks to all of the Shalom Baby kids and parents who so generously contributed!

May 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

Help wanted: Enthusiastic people to join Project ARCH!

Want to help us celebrate and support the lives of homeless children in your neck of the woods?

Announcing the inaugural Birthday Blessings auxiliary club: Project ARCH (Advocates Reaching Children of Homelessness)

Consider joining Project ARCH in support of Birthday Blessings and the homeless children we serve.

With programs, services, and BB events all across Charlotte and spanning a four-county region, wouldn’t it be great to find other advocates in your specific area, neighborhoods and associations, and help support homeless children together?

As the Beatles said, we can always use a little help from our friends.  And, since we are an all-volunteer nonprofit, it is through the strength of our volunteers that we have grown so large so quickly.  That’s why we need your help now, more than ever.

Do you have some time to volunteer and/or help spread the word about BB happenings around your stomping grounds?  We’re looking for motivated people of all ages interested in supporting our efforts through Project ARCH activities, like:

  • Help with family-fun events and awareness projects in your geographic area, from promotions to event planning, from set-up and event décor, to activities and logistics
  • Serve as liaison for pick-up and delivery of donations from one of our retail partners near your neighborhood
  • Help plan and implement special projects affiliated with BB’s major annual events
  • Organize people for a cause: We’ll need chairpersons or co-chairs for each area-specific ARCH group.

Your involvement will not only create fun and meaningful experiences that will make a difference in the lives of needy kids, but in your own life as well.

If you want to learn more about this exciting new endeavor, please email us your name, geographic area, and tell us how you would like to help!

May 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm 2 comments

Hats off to Charlotte Preparatory School

Photo courtesty of Charlotte Preparatory School

Hats off to Charlotte Preparatory School for spearheading a  record-breaking service project, all to benefit Birthday Blessings 🙂

During the month of March, students, parents, and faculty at Charlotte Preparatory School amassed tons of donations of new gifts and party supplies, and literally filled hundreds of treat sacks for the homeless children that Birthday Blessings serves.  It was the second year that CPS coordinated this school-wide effort in support of Birthday Blessings, and once again, the enthusiasm and response was overwhelming.

The school, which educates children from preschool through 8th grade, arranged hands-on project aspects for each grade level, including the preschoolers who spent time colorfully and creatively decorating all of the paper treat sacks.  A true work of heart!

Said project organizer Lisa Miller, “The only ‘problem’ with our Birthday Blessings service project this year was the generosity and abundance of it all—we literally ran out of room to store everything!”  Parents and students helped load several cars and SUVs full of the donations and brought them to the Birthday Blessings facility.

We are grateful to everyone at Charlotte Preparatory School for their participation with this year’s support project.  The incredible gifts, supplies, and goodies will bring so much joy to local homeless children.

GO, TIGERS!

May 11, 2010 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

Join Mister Twister’s Twister Team

CHARLOTTE, NC – Want to learn from a master balloon artist and help us celebrate the lives of homeless children?  Mister Twister will conduct “twister training” for adults and youth interested in volunteering at shelter parties and community events.

If you want to “do the twist” with Mister Twister, please email him for more information.

February 11, 2010 at 1:43 am Leave a comment

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