We did it! Recently I was fortunate enough to come across a wonderful website, VolunteerMatch.org. On this site you can select your area (by city or zip code) and it will show you mulitple volunteer opportunities from which you can choose. I came across a program called "Hearts of Wellness".
There is a clinic located nearby that is manned by volunteers (including doctors and nurses) that services children who are uninsured or whose families can't afford doctor visits. Pediplace was asking for Valentine treat bag donations to hand out to their patients during the week of February 11-16.
I emailed the volunteer coordinator to inquire as to how many treat bags were needed. For some reason she was very vague and I couldn't seem to pin her down on a definitive answer to my query. She mentioned that she had two others who had volunteered to make and donate 25 Valentine treat bags each. Again, I asked how many more they needed and all she would say was, "Please feel free to just donate as many or as few as you are comfortable with. We'll take any donations we can get."
After further exploration of the website, I read somewhere that Pediplace tends to as many as 75 patients/day. With some handy-dandy calculator magic (because yes, I am THAT poor at doing math in my head), I came up with a number of 375 (75 patients x 5 days of the week). I then had a goal in mind and quickly got to work.
I have learned a great deal in Photoshop this year and always love working on digital projects. So, I whipped up about 7 different Valentines that could simply be printed from one's computer and cut to size. I then attached these Valentine pictures to a bulk email that I sent out to over 100 of my friends, asking them if any would like to participate with me on this service project?
Well, not surprisingly at all, I had many wonderful people respond with loving hearts and willing hands! These ladies generously purchased and put together a total of over 250 Valentine treat bags complete with signed Valentines and LOTS of candy! (Shout out of thanks to the following friends (and their families) for happily helping me with this project: Cara Stimson, Lori Tolbert, Suzanne Strickler, Denise LaJoie, Crystal Bell, Glenda Crump and Jennifer Long.)
Although the Valentines were made in an effort to help these children who are economically challenged feel the community's love and support for them, I'm the one who ended up feeling loved and supported! My heart was full of joy in being able to participate in this simple act of kindness, but also by being willingly joined by wonderful friends. I couldn't have done it without their generous hearts and feel so blessed to know these great gals!
The staff at Pediplace was SO amazed when I showed up with a giant Rubbermaid tub full of donations! They had no idea that I would be bringing so many for them! I only wish all those who participated could've been with me to see their happy faces. Thank you, ladies (and families), for all you've done!