This one came to me today at lunch with my kids.
I volunteer for VNSA We work all year towards this huge booksale which has historically earned a ton of money. Several hundred thousand dollars each year. All, of the money is given to charities within our county. There is absolutely no paid staff. We are all volunteers. The only overhead we have us utilities and maintenance on the warehouse.
We have two main charities that we support every single year, but then we give other money to charities that we vote on each year. This past year one of the charities we voted on was MANA House which is a transititonal shelter for homeless veterans. Up until this year, they have only been able to house men. The money that we gave them this past year helped them to make some changes in their facility that will now allow them to house 16 women as well. The first 16 women will move in in the middle of this month.
As a side project, we are preparing gift bags to give to the women that would include all kinds of toiletries that one needs on a daily basis. Basic items that we all take for granted in our lives:
Combs and Brushes
Toothbrushes and toothpaste
Bar soap or shower gel
Disposable razors and shaving gel
Feminine hygiene products
So the woman that is spearheading this effort put ou the word to everyone that if you wanted to donate, that she preferred you send Targe or Walmart gift cards or cash and she would do the shopping. I was planning to send her $100. Then I got a different idea when I was having lunch with my kids. We were talking about the project and then one of them mentioed that they wanted to stop at the 99 cent store . . . OMG!!! I realized that the 99cent store has all of these things, name brands even . . . for 99cents! So I got Colgate toothpaste for 99 cents rather that $3.00 Arid deodorant etc . . .
This is a way better use of the funds donated for this project than going to Target or Walmart. So the kids and I got shaving gel, razors, tootpaste, tooth brushes, maxi pads, deodorant, shower caps, shampoo, body wash, lotion, shower pouffs and soaps, 11 items in all for each of the 16 women. I am thinking then that this should put a good dent in the items tha are needed for the gift bags and maybe she could take some of that Target and Walmart money and buy nice tote bags instead.
I feel super happy about this project. These are veterans for God Sake. No one should be homeless in our country, but especially the fact that veterans are homeless is just an outrage.