Tagged non-profit

Share your favorite Non-Profit and help them Win Big

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Community.  It’s a Half-Pint Resale theme!  It’s what buying local is all about. 

But it’s also that time of year where we all are thinking about giving back to our communities through our local non-profits. It’s what keeps us going over here at Half-Pint. Our Motto is always DO GOOD.

We’ve been honored to support Kindred Kids through the donation of items post each sale.  Kindred Kids, located in Columbus, WI, is a free resource to families that have children with special needs. Kindred Kids provides a lending library, complete with toys, books, games, and therapy equipment, as well as wheelchairs and communication devices.

The Goodman Community Center is also top on our lists of non-profits we love and personally support.    As they say, “We help children learn to read, be leaders, handle life’s ups and downs, get through school, and see a future full of opportunities. When we help an older adult feel less isolated and more connected to her community in the company of friends, we know the strength of our community. When we see a food pantry customer finally get that job and get back on his feet, and then volunteer or donate, we see the resilience of our community.”   Perhaps you’ve been to their café, used their amazing community space (or shopped the sale in their gym in our earlier years of the sale!)

Read the stories on this page (I dare you not to get tears in your eyes…)  They even have opportunities to give to youth in their programs or directly TO their youth programs through donations of specific gifts through their Holiday Gift Giving Program (ModPodge or Acrylic paints anyone?)  Stop in and follow the snowflake trail!

We also love Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM), serving the West Madison, Middleton and Cross Plains areas.  They have a wonderful program during the holiday season called “Sharing Christmas.  Through this program, you can be matched with a  family and receive their holiday wish list, so you can shop for gifts that they might not otherwise receive.  Read this personal story written by a Half-Pint volunteer who participated in the program last year and how it changed her life.

You can see the other non-profits that we’ve been proud to support here, including Mikayla’s Grace, the Rape Crisis Center, Community Justice Inc., and Mother and Child Resources.

We also asked our volunteer coordinators to share one of their favorite local Non-Profits:

HEIDI

Angel’s Wish in Verona.  It’s a no kill pet rescue that stops at nothing to find loving homes for mostly cats, but also dogs.  They are amazing and tireless in their efforts to help animals and match them with wonderful families.

SUSAN

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) is near and dear to my heart. They provide much needed support, advocacy and safety to women, children and men.  Currently they are raising funds to build a much-needed facility do they can provide more emergency shelter and better individual and group support opportunities.

My newest favorite charity is the Lussier Community Education Center. This 30 year old west side community center is steeped in grassroots community organizing as it provides after-school care for all ages, employment resources and support for adults, meals and companionship for seniors and much needed emergency food for families.  Their welcoming and open facility offers a great place for community members to come together.

So, now it’s your turn.

So, Half-Pinters, what are your favorite non-profits in the area?   Comment on our blog or on our facebook page – Tell us who they are, and why you support them, and we’ll pick one person’s charity at random and give the non-profit a $100 donation before years end.

Deadline:  Monday, December 10

We thank you for being a part of this amazing community!

Hangers and Pins

Some say the hardest thing about Consigning is finding hangers and pins –

Well not any longer!

We’re partnering with the fabulous non-profit Kindred Kids.  They are the area non-profit that receives all donated items that are not purchased after each sale.   Their volunteers carefully take all of the tags off of the clothing and clothing off of their hangers so they can be put to good use at Kindred Kids.

And now they have hangers and pins that they’d love to get back to consignors, all for a minor donation to their wonderful cause and keeping Kindred Kids open.

So come one, come all!  Big bags of Hangers are only $1, and bags of pins are only $1!

While you are there, check out their amazing lending library and let the kids play with all of their amazing toys.  Or make a day out of your trip to Columbus –  several lovely parks, a great Aquatic center, a fun train station,  a cool mom and pop authentic drive in restaurant called Mullin’s Short Stop Drive-In, which looks like a ton of fun.   (Apparently there are some really friendly deer in the park that kids love to feed and and their library is awfully sweet.)

You can find a map to Kindred Kids as well as their hours on their website

EC

Half-Pint Supports Kindred Kids

We really love Kindred Kids.  Yep, we love it because one of our fabulous volunteers started the non-profit after she saw a need in the community.  And we love it because it helps families of children with differing needs.  We love that it involves kids in helping kids, and that they find creative ways to involve the community.  We love it for all of those things – and we love it because it’s the thrifty thing to do.

You should check out Kindred Kids new website (some students from MATC designed it – not too shabby, eh?!) and read all about their mission.  But you should also check out Kindred Kids because they have a toy lending library for all kids.   And it’s only $5 a month.  WHAT you say?  I was surprised the first time I heard about it, too.  But it’s such an awesome idea.  Your kids love new toys, but your budget doesn’t. For only $5 you can go to Kindred Kids and borrow toys. Just return them a month later, and get some new ones!  New toys every month for a total of $60 a year, the price of two toys at Toys’R Us.  That certainly is thrifty!  The toy lending library is free for any children of differing abilities.

All toys and clothing not purchased that is donated at the end of the sale goes to this great non-profit.  They sell the clothing cheap (not only as a resource for families, but to help them raise funds for the services they offer), and they add the toys into the lending library.   Kindred Kids even purchases items at Half-Pint to add to their resource area for families with children of different abilities to use (for example, chairs like bumbos are great for kids who have a hard time sitting up).

When I asked Wendy, their director, what Kindred Kids was up to since we last visited, she had a lot to say!

“So much has changed!  We’ve moved down the street – now we are much bigger (5400+ sq feet compared to 1700 at the old location!)  We have a retail area with a snack bar in case the little ones get hungry for a healthy snack.  We even have carts to push  and cars for the kiddos to ride around in!!!

The building has several different areas, which is great because we used to have to drive from storage unit to storage unit to pick up the specialized equipment that families needed.    Now one area in the building stores all of those items.  We also now we have one area that is the toy library, another area that is a play room that has a party room attached to it.  There is a nice sized community resource room and library, and another whole room devoted to just kids gear.

Starting the first saturday in April we are expanding our ours and will be open 12-5 tues-fri and 10-1 on saturdays.   Thursday nights we have a ladies volunteer group.  It’s always drop in and project focused so that  mamma’s can stop in after 6pm for munchies and conversation while we work together on a variety of volunteer projects.  Nursing babies are welcome, too!  We are also gearing up for a Tuesday morning playgroup to start sometime in the next few months.

Our new addy is 951 W. James street,which is right next to Dollar General… a Columbus landmark on the main drag that is easy to find.  We also have tons of parking in our lot that is not next to a major highway so it is convenient and safe for moms and kiddos.”

Lots of folks really love to get their items back post sale (no problem, happy to do it) but if you are considering donating unsold items, Kindred Kids will be thrilled to accept the donation.  “Half-Pint Resale is such a blessing for our organization,” says Wendy.

No, Wendy, Kindred Kids is such a blessing for our community!  We – and the Half-Pint Community – are happy to help.

-EC and LS

Do not be afraid of their tears

Melissa Terrill is our guest blogger, taking on a topic that often fills so many of us with anxiety.  Melissa and her husband  lost their daughter nearly 9 months ago after she was born at the tender age of 24 weeks.  Melissa is a dear friend of ours and of Half-Pint Resale, and offered to write this post to give us all the tools – the words – the permission some of us may feel we need – to be there for our friends and family who are going through such a tragedy.  She speaks with compassionate but straightforward truth, and we encourage you all to read and to share this important information, so that we can be community and family for one another.

Melissa and Mike and their son Jonathan have also begun a truly wonderful non-profit in honor of their daughter, called Mikayla’s Grace, which seeks to support families with a baby in the NICU and those who experience the death of an infant at Madison area hospitals.  The non-profit provides provides  NICU care packages and angel memory boxes, offering both practical and emotional support for the parents.  There are many ways you can get involved – read on.

-EC and LS

*****


According to 2004 statistics issued by the CDC 15.6% of pregnancies in the United States ended in either a miscarriage or stillbirth.  Which means that most of us have either been directly affected or  know someone who has been affected by the loss of an infant.

My family has experienced this heartache first hand, when our second child Mikayla Grace was born prematurely for unknown reasons at only 24 weeks and 5 days last June.  In one day, our dreams as we knew them came crashing down, when we learned that our daughter would not survive after being alive for only 36 hours.  You can read more of our story here. The world suddenly became a very lonely place, one in which our “new normal” was so unexpected that even those closest to us were at a loss of what to do.

I have learned a great deal through this experience, and I hope that I can share a few things that might help you if someone in your life experiences the death of their child.  It is hard to know what to say to a grieving parent, and I’m almost certain that before Mikayla died I wouldn’t have had a clue either. Our own fear of loss can render us immobile.  One of the most difficult things that a bereaved parent deals with is when people say nothing about the the child that is on their minds every moment of the day.  I remember thinking that it seemed like others had returned to their lives so quickly, leaving us to deal with our grief on our own in many ways.

It was as if people felt like they had to think of the “perfect” thing to say, and if they couldn’t, they just said nothing. There is no “perfect” thing to say. There is nothing you can say to heal the grief of losing a child. But acknowledging and supporting grief is a way to help healing. Please know that the effort of talking about the baby, the loss, and the sadness will be appreciated, even if it’s not “perfect.”  I love this quote by Elizabeth Edwards, whose firstborn child died at age 16,

‘If you know someone who has lost a child or lost anybody who’s important to them, and you’re afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn’t forget they died. You’re not reminding them. What you’re reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that’s a great, great gift.”

Bereaved parents need your loving support more than ever. Please do not stay away or ignore the loss.  Not speaking about it does not lessen its reality. Bring up the subject, and be prepared for tears. Nothing you say will ever make the bereaved parent sadder than the reality of losing a child. Simply allowing a safe space for them to grieve without denying that grief is all that’s required of you. Remember, it is usually the simple things you say or do that mean so much.

There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love. ~ Washington Irving

It is important to remember, as a friend or family of bereaved parents, that the parents only grieve because they loved so deeply.  Their tears speak this unspeakable love, do not be afraid of their tears.  Do not be afraid to speak the name of the baby that they still love even though the baby is no longer with us.

In discussing this topic with a friend of mine who has not experienced the death of her child, she said “the two things I would have LOVED to have known immediately are:
1.  The most important thing to ANY bereaved mom is to know that you remember and care about her baby.
2.  The right thing to do or say is SOMETHING.  The only real mistake you can make is saying or doing NOTHING.”

Contrary to the widespread notion that “getting over” loss depends on “letting go” of the person who died, many people find that successfully going on with their lives includes finding a new way to feel connected to the person who died.  When I found this on the Sweet Dreams Our Angels website I really connected with it.  I knew that I wanted Mikayla to have a legacy that would carry on to help other families that have also experienced the loss of a child, and that is why I started our non-profit, Mikayla’s Grace.

Mikayla’s Grace is an organization that we formed to support families with a baby in the NICU and those who experience the death of an infant at Madison Area hospitals by providing NICU care packages and angel memory boxes that offer both practical and emotional support for the parents.  We received a lot of support from the nurses while we were in the hospital with Mikayla, but the hospital has a limited budget for bereavement materials and does not currently have a consistent supplier of donations for things to be used to make memories of the baby’s life for bereaved parents.  We strive to improve the quality of this experience for parents in this situation.

We will be making our first donation of Angel Memory Boxes to the NICU at St. Mary’s Hospital where Mikayla was born. Our first donation of these boxes will be in June 2011, in memory of Mikayla’s first birthday, and we are working on the donation of the NICU Care Packages for later this year. Visit our website to find out how you can help or “like” our facebook page.

We are currently running a Flower Fundraiser until April 29th to buy needed items for the boxes.  You can purchase flower bulbs to plant in your garden and 50% of your purchase will go directly to Mikayla’s Grace.   We are also looking for volunteers who can knit, crochet, or sew.  We are hoping that we can gain enough support so that after our first donation in June this can be an ongoing project for many years to come.

Please consider visiting our website to help out and pass this information along to anyone you think might be willing to help!  We need all the help we can get to make sure that this non-profit can continue supporting NICU babies and bereaved parents in our community.

Resources for Bereaved Parents and those who want to support them:

Thankfully there are many resources available for bereaved parents and their family members today, and we are fortunate to have two wonderful Pregnancy/Infant Loss support groups here in Madison:
  • The Bereaved Parents of Madison Infant Loss group meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 pm, in Bay 4 of St. Mary’s hospital.  Their website is http://bereavedparents.squarespace.com/.  They also have a facebook group that is just for members and is a helpful way to connect to other bereaved parents.
  • SHARE meets the fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm.  Location varies so email Cynthia for monthly location.
  • You can also check out Cythia’s blog, where she discussed the topic of “What you can say” to bereaved parentsIf you have a friend or family member that experiences infant loss, encourage them to attend a group even if they are hesitant. Connecting with other bereaved parents has helped my husband and I tremendously along our healing journey, and we are amazed at the support we’ve received from these other parents.  There are also many online resources and places where parents who’ve experienced a loss can connect with other bereaved parents.
  • Babycenter.com has support groups and Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope has the most comprehensive list of resources for parents and family members and is also a place where parents can share their child’s story.
  • This site has a very good explanation of grief if you’d like to understand a little better what bereaved parents face.  If you would like to get something for a bereaved parent but not sure what to do this article gives good ideas for appropriate sympathy gifts.
  • I also have a post on my personal blog about What Parents of Angels Wish You’d Remember written in hopes that people would begin to understand what I, as a bereaved parent, needed. Another fellow blogger, Carly Marie, has written articles on How You Can Help Ease the Pain and How Friends and Family Can Help that are worth reading.
Keep in mind that although most parents will grieve differently, most bereaved parents would appreciate you doing something.  The only wrong thing to do is nothing.  I hope that by sharing my story it will help others that are going through this journey as well.

-MT


Thinking about donating those unsold items?

We got the chance after the last sale to visit Kindred Kids, the non-profit in Columbus (just north of Sun Prairie) where all of the donated items from Half-Pint Resale make their new (albeit temporary) home.  Kindred Kids is one of the most lovely, heart-filled resource centers for families that we’ve ever seen.


Kindred Kids is a  free resource organization for children with differing abilities. They provide a free lending library of toys (tons of them!), furniture (cribs, changing tables, train tables, toddler beds), books and equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, communication devices etc.)    They also have dress-up clothes, a bouncy castle….  and the list goes on and on.

For many families, Kindred Kids is a lifeline.  But it’s also a way for the entire community to come together. For a small fee (either monthly or yearly – contact Kindred Kids for the prices), ANYONE can use the resource center.  On weekend nights, local teens will come and hang out just to play the large collection of games that they have.  Local moms (that could be you!) meet there for small playgroups.    Families “rent” everything for their child’s birthday party (a fairy castle and fairy dress up wings borrowed instead of bought), or “borrow” a piece of furniture that they know that they won’t need for more than a few months.  All families can purchase clothing for very inexpensively (even cheaper than Half-Pint, if you can believe it – some was only a dollar!), which provides MUCH needed financial resources for the agency to stay afloat.

From their site, “We chose the name “Kindred Kids” because there are commonalities shared by all kids. They really
are all “Kindred”. Their differing abilities may make some of their needs “different” but their needs as children are the same.”

Interested in learning more about Kindred Kids?  Give them a call, and go for a visit!  Our kids had a blast when we visited and our scheduled half-hour  turned into well over an hour, and it took nothing other than magic to get them to leave.

And if you are trying to decide whether or not to bring your items home or donate them, we’d highly recommend you let Kindred Kids put them to good use 🙂

-Ellen and Lisa

PS – If you go and visit, you are bound to run into the amazing Wendy (the Kindred Kids Executive Director, family resource helper, and so much more) – take a minute to say hi (she’s an angel from Above)…