PurpleTrail and Partybluprints is all about celebrating life and connecting with others in a meaningful way usually its by hosting a party in your home. However in this post were proposing another idea for connecting with your community and the world.
After witnessing secondhand the utter devastation in Haiti and the despair of its people, everyone is asking, “what can I do?” The desire to help is there, the action plan unclear. Provide your friends, co-workers, neighbors, family and community with an opportunity to make a difference by organizing and hosting a volunteer effort. Coming together to help a devastated community not only provides essential support, it can strengthen your community.
Here are some important basics, whether your effort is large or small:
2. Research thoroughly your top 3 choices. Select an organization that is capable of getting the donations directly to the Haitians in need.
3. Identify specific items the selected organization is collecting. Typically, money, water, canned goods, non-perishable food, first aid and essential supplies are the 1st priority. Get exact payee information for donations by check.
4. If your community has organized a formal relief effort, see how you can provide support. If your community has not organized a formal relief effort, here are some suggestions for you to host one:
Tips for “Hosting” a Donation Drive:
- Verify your chosen organization is not only collecting supplies, but has a way to deliver them to Haitians in need.
- Distribute information containing specifics on drive (date, time, drop-off point, detail what goods you are collecting and recipient information). Specify payee information on donations by check.
- Invite friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and community to join in the effort. Ive had excellent experience with our local girl and boy scouts, church groups, schools and organizations they are hard workers who have both the determination and capability to get the job done.
- Work off your RSVP list and assign everyone a job, including the children*. Make sure to assign age/skill appropriate duties:
- Set up designated location for donations.
- Intake “drop off” donations.
- Sort donations (water, canned food, non-perishable food, first aid, diapers/baby products, toiletries, etc.).
- Pack and label goods.
- Transport and delivery.
- Collect and record monetary donations – make sure checks are made payable to confirmed payee.
- Organize “Refreshment Stand” sell snacks, baked goods, lemonade, iced tea, etc. with all proceeds going towards designated relief fund.
Tips for “Hosting” a Helping Hands Bake Sale:
- Secure a heavily trafficked location to hold your bake sale. Check with local places of worship, schools, and event organizers.
- Gather the day before the big bake sale to bake together. If your kitchen cannot accommodate a group baking effort, secure a kitchen large enough to be “Baking Central”. Check local places of worship, community centers, and friends with large kitchens. Make sure ovens are in good working order.
- Invite friends, family and neighbors to donate their time for baking, packaging and working the bake sale.
- Buy bulk supplies (baking & packaging).
- Assign everyone a duty.
- This is a great opportunity to involve the children. Younger children can make flyers, posters and signs to promote the sale. Older children can promote the bake sale, work the sale and collect money.
- If young children will be present on baking day, bring card/letter making supplies and create a craft station where they can craft handmade cards, notes, letters to include with monetary donation. The sentiment, “were thinking of you/we care” can provide a great deal of hope. Its a great way for the children of your community to reach out and connect with the people of Haiti.
*Regardless of how you choose to support Haiti, include the children. Those aware of world issues want to do something to help, but many times dont know how. Give them an opportunity to make a difference. Dont underestimate the value of children in helping with such an effort. My experience is they want to help, and if clear instructions are given, they are extremely helpful. Make sure to assign age appropriate tasks, but certainly give everyone a job so it truly is a group effort and an experience that is shared and remembered by all.