DECEMBER: HOLIDAY CHEER WITH CENTRAL MIDLANDS TRANSITIONAL RETREAT. Christmas is truly the season of giving. Not only giving gifts but giving back to the community. This year, we gave back to those who served our country but have fallen on hard times.
The intention was to serve a warm Christmas dinner to 60 homeless veterans at Central Midlands Transitional Retreat, but Covid forced us to pivot and change plans last minute. Rather than in person, my elves delivered all the goodness tonight so the veterans could still enjoy the Christmas goodies – just with some assembly required on their end.
In total, 65 laundry baskets FULL of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soaps, shaving cream, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, deodorant, decks of cards, dice, puzzles, puzzle books, snacks, candies, cookies, ornaments – including handmade ornaments – colored pages -and handwritten cards of gratitude were delivered. Each gift basket had a baseball hat donated by The Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce along with a cookie box with one dozen goodies, many of which were donated by the Saluda Middle School Beta Club… comprised of teachers and students that benefitted from our October give and wanted to pay the kindness forward this month. Several large baskets overflowing with extra hygiene items, blankets and other goodies were gifted to the center to share with the residents as needed.
To fill their bellies, we delivered 17 Boston Butts with some fixings and another (at least) 30 dozen cookies/brownies along with waters from Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission to wash it all down.
Thank you to all who helped make this give possible. The true gift is seeing a group of like hearted people join together to make a positive impact on our community.
SEPTEMBER: SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE FOR SALUDA MIDDLE SCHOOL. To learn that a 7th grader at Saluda Middle School doesn’t have the same elective opportunities as my 7th grader is appalling. No foreign language. No dance. No drama. No chorus. No Adventure Ed. No archery. All because they don’t live in the right zip code. They don’t even have a PTA of any kind. Teachers do their own fundraising for supplies.
This month, we brought a moment of equality into the classrooms at this underserved school. In total, we collected all 75 books to restock the library shelves. We provided 54 glue sticks, 12 packs colored pencils, 8 composition notebooks, 79 folders, 3 packs paper, 2 packs markers, 150 pencils, as well as 4 bags of supplies including composition notebooks, pencils and hand sanitizer. And, with the generosity of Harvest Hope Food Bank, we also provided an ENTIRE PALETTE with boxes and boxes of supplies. Those who donated to my birthday fundraiser, your generosity was put towards the following items: Mobile desk, portable reader, 2 dozen Paper mate pens, 6 Smart Chart Tablets, 2 dozen Sharpies, Electric pencil sharpener, 6 Learning resource hooks, 12 Easel pads, 30 classroom resource books.
JUNE: BOOKS + BACKPACKS. Began by collecting for the homeless but expanded to include Epworth Children’s Home once we learned of a fire that destroyed their supply shed. A monetary donation of $2,300 was made to Epworth Children’s Home and we collected 390 garbage bags, 4 laundry baskets, 3 Fabuloso, 2 bottles bleach, 4 Dawn dish soap, 4 dish sponges, 60 bars soap, 20 deodorant, 25 lip balms, 96 razors, 200 tampons, 4 body sponges, 20 Body wash, 30 shampoo, 20 Conditioner, 12 lotion, 20 toothpaste,151 toothbrushes, 9 floss, 4 beach towels, 4 pillows, 12 pillowcases, 4 sets twin sheets, 8 shower curtains/rings, 30 hygiene packs, 200 travel shampoo, 285 travel soap, 150 travel body wash, 54 travel body lotion, 60 travel toothpaste, 8 travel mouthwash, 6 Kleenex packs, 25 first aid kits, 103 gently loved books, 25 gently loved bags, 4 gently loved book bags, 22 woven t-shirt jumpropes, and 116 granola bars. Since many items were travel size – and some gently loved – we made deliveries to Transitions Honless Center and Homeless No More to share the love.
APRIL: Due to the Covid pandemic, several of the gives we had planned were cancelled, so we tried to help our community where we could.
- Mission Lexington: Collected 106 packets of grits, 3 canisters oats, 80 packets Quaker Oats, 1 canister grits, 2 boxes rice, 10 bags rice, 1 box instant mashed potatoes , 2 boxes cornbread mix, 16 bags of noodles, 6 boxes noodles, 6 boxes spaghetti, 24 boxes Mac/Cheese, 40 cans of soup, 12 cans tomato sauce, 20 cans of beans, 16 cans corn, 4 cans diced tomatoes, 9 cans tuna, 3 jars jelly, 1 jar applesauce, 6 cans fruit cocktail, 6 cans peaches, 6 cans oranges, 6 cans pineapple chunks. 2 bottles shampoo, 1 bottle shaving cream, 2 deodorant, 3 bottles body soap, and loads of grocery bags.
- Nancy K. Perry Children’s Shelter: Collected several boxes of snacks for the residents.
- HOMELESS NO MORE: The long days have been made a little sweeter for the kids with boxes of snacks as well as games, toys and a gently loved bike!
- Central Midlands Transitional Retreat: Delivered a few dozen donuts and several boxes of single serve ice cream.
MARCH: PAWSitivity Project. Collected much needed items for local organizations to help animals in our community. Carolina Wildlife Center, Pooch’s Partners, and Lexington County Animal Shelter received Iams puppy dog food, (2) Cat food, 12 wet dog food, 3 bags (25lbs each) poultry free dog food, 48 collars, 28 leashes , Cat Litter, 48 Fleece blankets, 4 bags Sheets, 4 Oxyclean, 2 (14×20) tarps, 4 (8×10) tarps, 10 large dog toys.
FEBRUARY: Fairy Godparent February. Partnered with two wonderful organizations to help spread cheer and goodwill to children in need. 1) The Cinderella Project collects and distributes new and gently worn prom dresses to disadvantaged high school students throughout the state. 2) Kellan’s Kloset provides new undergarments as well as new and gently used clothing for children in foster care. In total, we collected 207 formal dresses, 12 formal shoes, 2 nylons, 2 scarves and 11 formal purses as well as 242 underwear, 254 socks, 6 bras.