Give In Review: 2015

Our first year as Ding Dong Divas was packed with fun as we spread cheer and goodwill to those in need of kindness around the Midlands. Check out our awesome year!

Fall 2015 Give: Operation Exodus. Every year, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC, cuts loose their bootcamp troops to go home for a two-week Christmas break. Since these soldiers often spend every dime to purchase their tickets to make it home for the holidays, we wanted to provide them goodie bags for their trip. During September, October and November, we collected: 6807 Granola Bars,  6339 Slim Jims, 6182 Packs of crackers, 3014 Packs of cookies, 338 Variety chips, snack packs, cheezits, 747 Chex mix, 82 Packs of sunflower seeds, 735 Packs of nuts, 24 raisins, 1980 Packs of gum, 2818 mini packs of M&Ms, candies, 546 regular packs of M&Ms, skittles, 12 starburst, 1 box of Raisinettes, 22 packs of fruit snacks, 20 fruit roll ups, 72 snack cakes, 488 12oz Gatorade, 205 single water flavors, 463 popcorn factory, 611 Lip balms, 518 Packs of Kleenex, 900 stamps of strength, 75 cases of water, 7692 notes of encouragement. Amazing doesn’t even describe the tremendous goal we achieved. Considering that many of us were collecting at a time when our state was devastated by the flood disaster. We rallied. We overcame. Friends and family from near and far believed in our cause and gave. Then, from 8:00pm on December 17 until 8:00am December 18, a crew of 30 Ding Dong Divas divided into three shifts to distribute the goodie bags as the soldiers were shipped off the base. What an amazing evening. The look of gratitude and a simple smile from a soldier is worth more than gold. How humbling to receive thanks from a soldier for a simple bag of treats, when their gift to us is so much more.

August 2015 Give: Socks + Underwear for Foster Care. We packaged 849 pairs of underwear and 762 pair of socks (infant, toddler and youth sizes) into bundles that  included a handwritten note of love and compassion. These packages were delivered to a local foster parent organization and several youth shelters in Columbia and Lexington, SC.

July 2015 Give: Finlay Home Farmers Market. Our biggest give yet. 180 low-income seniors received what they asked for – fresh fruits and vegetables. And we brought it by the truckload! We set up a Farmer’s Market for the residents at Finlay House to pick out fresh fruits and vegetables.

June 2015 Give: Blessing Bags for the Homeless. We packaged 262 bags with travel-size shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, mouthwash, body soap, sunscreen, body lotion and pack of Kleenex along with toothbrush, comb,pack of gum and a handwritten note of encouragement to the recipient. The Family Shelter, Transitions, Seed of Hope, and Oliver’s Gospel Mission all benefited from this tremendous give. We also collected the following full-size items for the abused women and children’s shelters: 10 shampoo, 24 deodorant, 11 shower caps, 12 mouthwash, 37 makeup removers, 36 toothpastes that were donated to Samaritan’s Well Women’s Shelter.

MAY 2015 Give: Soup for our Seniors. We gathered, sorted, bagged and delivered bags of goodies including soup, crackers and granola bars to 55 residents of a low-income senior facility in Irmo, SC.

FEBRUARY 2015 Give: Soup for our Seniors. We gathered, sorted, bagged and delivered bags of goodies including soup, crackers and granola bars to 38 residents of a low-income senior facility in Lexington, SC.