Monday, October 3, 2016

How can you help Sent from Heaven?

There is likely at least one family in the Valley who loses a child each day. These families need to be reached. Often this subject is not talked about or only talked about a little because people don’t know what to do or say. But these families are hurting, big time. It’s the most painful loss next to losing a spouse or other living children. And yet, people rarely get time off work to grieve about it.
There are so many ways you can help us right now and over time. Right now, we’re holding our first annual donation drive October 1-15, in honor of Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Awareness Month. Here are some things we need donated
  • Journals for men and women. We want to make sure that journals are included for both the mom and dad. We may even include one for an older child, if that suits the family. You can pick up journals inexpensively at places like Hobby Lobby and other craft stores. Joann’s in Visalia is going out of business right now, so you can likely get journals really cheap there. I often see journals in the Dollar Spot at Target, too.
  • Meal gift cards. We would like to try to include gift cards to non-chain restaurants to help support our local community. As we’re our locally-based organization, we want to support our local businesses. A gift card in the amount of at least $30 is needed for each care package. Costco actually does sell some gift cards to local places at a discount.
  • Tissue. Small pocket packages or boxes are fine. Get it in bulk for cheap at Costco or someplace similar. I saw 3-packs of pocket tissues in the Dollar Spot at Target recently.
  • Amazon gift cards. These would be used to purchase books about grieving the loss of child.
  • Donations for children’s books. Click the box on the left-side of this page that’s about donating for children’s books. For families with other children who will be grieving, we want to include a book for those children. Your donation here will also help us raise funds to purchase supplies for our care packages.
  • Healthy snacks. I would love to see us supporting local places with this purchase also, like snacks from Central Valley Snacks downtown on Main Street or The Naked Nut. I know there are other places that I can’t even think of either. Make sure it’s a non-perishable snack. Or if you sell or purchase Thrive food, I would love to include a bag of Snackies. Some good snack options would be dried fruit, fruit leather, granola bars, veggie chips, etc.
  • Memorial jewelry. I’m looking to my Premier Designs jewelers for help with this one. Many of you received an email from me recently asking for donations of Heaven and Identity necklaces. I can’t get enough of these on my own and need your help!
  • Bibles. It doesn’t need to be fancy. A simple paperback Bible in an easy-to-read translation will be perfect. An NIV or NLT translation would be great. I saw a small paperback Bible at Hobby Lobby recently for about $2.
  • iTunes and Google Play gift cards. We will use these to purchase and send downloads of a song to each family. You can purchase this in bulk for a discount at Costco, or at most other large chain stores.
  • Coffee or tea. Hot drinks are comforting and reviving. I would love to see coffee from local roasters like Tazzaria or Maverick’s. Tea could just be purchased at grocery stores. Costco usually sells some in bulk. I would recommend an herbal tea, and perhaps something that’s soothing like chamomile. I would like to include at least a half pound of coffee and/or a box of tea in each package.
  • Baskets or open-top containers. We don’t need anything large because the largest item being put in our package is a book. You can find colorful plastic baskets at the Dollar Tree that would work great. Again, since Joann’s is going out of business you can also check there for clearance items.
There are other ways you can help!

We need you to spread the word! Tell your pastors, friends, MOPs groups, etc. about us. Share and like our page on Facebook.

We need more prayer partners. We will soon start sending out a regular monthly update to our prayer partners with our praises and prayer requests. If you’d like to be part of our prayer team, please let us know!

We need helpers or more members for our board of directors. Currently, just three of us are behind this whole thing, but we’re going to need more brains for ideas and hands to serve. If you want to be part of this ongoing or a case-by-case basis, let us know.

We need you to write your story. If you have lost a child in some way, we want to share your story with our community. It’s healing and helpful to know you’re not alone when you can find stories from others about their loss. It also helps you know what to expect in the coming months. If you’re not a writer, Amanda can interview you and write it for you. Otherwise, she’ll just edit your story once you write it. During October, we would like to publish several stories each week in honor of this being Child Loss Awareness Month.

We need help making lists of churches and services, especially in cities outside Visalia. If you can point us to a website with this information or recommend places to us, please send them.

 We need a social media expert. We won’t be able to continue running all our accounts by ourselves, and we’re not geniuses at this social media stuff. We want to grow our Facebook and Instagram accounts to reach more people, of course. If you would like to volunteer to help us with this now, we would be honored and thankful. If you can discount your services, let us know. If you know someone, get us in touch.

We need a graphic designer. Again, we’re not experts at designing flyers or websites, but we need to look professional and polished. If you can donate your services or discount them, we would greatly appreciate it!

We need a lawyer or an intern at a law firm to help us with all the legal paperwork. We heard from another non-profit in town that they were able to get their paperwork and help for the first year done pro-bono. We definitely need that kind of help. If you or someone you know can help with this, please put us in touch.

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