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25 Days of Giving: Day 6

Giving back to Gifts of Love on Day 6.. clothes, Holiday Store and pink sparkly sneakers!

 

Clothes, clothes and more clothes. I don’t know about moms of boys, but in our house, we seriously have lots of clothes. Mostly dresses and headbands, but I mean really, how many glittery shoes does one 6 year old need? Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE shopping for fancy, glittery dresses and skirts, but the girls are growing so fast that usually within 6 months we are buying new clothes. And when my oldest daughter came home from school on the SECOND day of 2nd grade asked why does she wear bows when NOONE in her class wears them anymore, and then on the THIRD of 2nd grade, when one of the boys in her class told her they were babyish, all I could think about was my closet full of bows. It’s a good thing I had another girl. But I digress…

The point is we have lots of bows. And dresses. And skirts. Fortunately, I am able to pass much of them down from my nieces (who are 3 years old and 7 months old) – and I absolutely love when I see my nieces wearing one of the girls outfits. Not only does it hold special memories for me, but it makes me feel like a part of my girls are with my nieces. It’s very sweet. I also set aside many of their clothes for donation to Gifs of Love in Avon. It’s a place which means a lot to me, having worked as a fundraiser there for 4 years, and saw firsthand how they truly help so many local families in need. The mission of Gifts of Love is to help provide families with basic needs- food clothing, furniture, household items and energy assistance- to people in the Greater Hartford and Farmington Valley communities. In most cases, to qualify for the program, people need to be working. When times are toughest, the working poor who don't qualify for many government programs are often hit the hardest. From their food pantry, and clothing donation room, to  the furniture and backpack program, Gifts of Love “helps meets the basic needs of individuals and families experiencing a financial crisis so that they can achieve and maintain self sufficiency.” There are only a handful of staff on hand, with much of the day to day operations depending on the amazing volunteers who come in to help sort clothes, take clients through the food pantry and help brighten their day.

After school today, David and the girls brought over several bags of the girls’ clothes (and some of mine) as well as a few household items to Gifts of Love. They were greeted by Diana, the Executive Director, who always has a smile on her face and a way of making you feel right at home the minute you walk in. She is warm and friendly, and met them at the front door with a  big smile and hugs.  After giving the clothes they brought in, the girls explained that they also brought in some new clothes and shoes for the Holiday Store. The Holiday Store is a special store, in which clients can come in and choose new gift items for their families during the holidays. It assures that every family has a little something extra to share with their families and celebrate the season. It’s a beautifully decorated storefront, filled with new gifts, clothing and other items which people donate. In addition to choosing gifts for their family, every client leaves with wrapping paper, as well. Val, a long time Gifts of Love volunteer, does an amazing job decorating and organizing the Holiday Store each year. She happened to be there today and explained to the girls how special the Holiday Store it is to the families who come in to Gifts of Love for assistance. It gives them that little extra and helps provide their loved ones gifts during the holiday season, she explained. The girls loved donating and told me tonight how nice it was to give other children in need their clothes. Even my little one was okay parting with her pink sparkly sneakers.

How to Give Back: Gifts of Love is located at 35 East Main Street in Avon and accepts gently used and new donations Monday through Friday from 9am-3pm. They are alway in need of baby items, clothing, linens, blankets, and food. Additional needs include: dishes, clothes, towels, pots and pans, small appliances and food. To make an in-kind or monetary donation, visit www.GiftsofLoveCT.org or call (860) 676-06001. To donate new clothes and household items to their Holiday Store, consider a gift card to a local store (such as Target, Wal-Mart or a grocery store) or holiday wrapping paper.

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