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Archive for the ‘Donations’ Category


The past couple of years Le Top employees have supported a program near and dear to our hearts through Volunteers of America, called Operation Backpack. The program collects necessary back-to-school supplies and disburses them to Greater Sacramento, CA area homeless and disadvantaged families, as well as agencies and school districts. I know summer has just started but the new school year is fast approaching and these children are lacking the basics to start school off on the right track. Operation Backpack is accepting filled backpacks or supplies from July 8-22, 2011. If you or a group you are involved in would like to donate or participate see how you do it below (taken from the Volunteers of America website.)

Give Back. Give a Pack.

1. Individuals

  • Pick a school supply list.
  • Purchase a new backpack filled with school supplies according to the grade level of your choice.
  • Securely tag the backpack with the school supply list and bring to one of the participating drop-off locations between July 8 and 22.

2. Groups – Join the 100 Pack!

  • The 100 Pack celebrates Volunteers of America’s 100th anniversary of providing human services in Greater Sacramento. By joining today, your group commits to sponsoring its very own Operation Backpack drive, and collecting as many new backpacks and school supplies as possible.
  • Introduce your personal network of friends, family, neighbors, colleagues and social groups to Operation Backpack and start today!

Volunteer

  • Volunteers are crucial to the success of Operation Backpack. Starting in late-June, and continuing through the first week of August, volunteers are needed to fulfill a variety of roles, including: Runners; Sorters; and Pick-a-Pack Day Event Assistants.
  • For more details and to sign up, please visit the Operation Backpack Volunteer page.

Support Kids Now!

  • Don’t have time to shop or volunteer, but still want to make a difference? Visit the online donation page to make a contribution today!

For additional information on Operation Backpack, please see the list of supporting pages to the left, or contact them at OperationBackpack@voa-sac.org, or 916.442.3691.

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A man carries a young girl who was rescued after being trapped with her mother in their home (Image by AP)

Family is about coming together and helping one another. As many of you know, there were massive and devastating tornadoes that hit families and residents very early this morning Joplin, Missouri. Le Top family sends our thoughts and prayers to those affected by this unfortunate and terrible disaster.

Much of the city’s south side was leveled, with churches, schools, businesses and homes reduced to ruins.

Fire chief Mitch Randles estimated that 25 to 30% of the city was damaged, and said his own home was among the buildings destroyed as the twister swept through this city of about 50,000 people some 160 miles south of Kansas City.

Find ways to help the families of Joplin, Missouri below

St. John’s has been updating its Facebook page through since the storm hit.

And another Facebook page has been established to help located people in the area.

Emergency officials are asking sightseers to stay away from the area while the damage is assessed. To volunteer, call 1-800-427-4626 or click here.

The Red Cross says volunteers are being mobilized and a shelter has been set up at Missouri Southern State College at 3950 E. Newman Road in Joplin at the Leggett & Platt Ath Center.

To locate a loved one, or report yourself safe and well, click here.  

For nurses or doctors looking to help, call (417) 832-9500 for the Greater Ozarks chapter of the Red Cross.

Health professionals are also encouraged to register to volunteer through the Show-Me Response website.  

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is asking all first responders to go to Joplin to a command post at 34th & Main.

Click here for a list of Red Cross shelters.

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 211.

The United Way’s 211 service number is now available for most areas in Missouri. In areas where the 211 number is not operational, citizens can call 1-800-427-4626.

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is in need of type “O” blood. If you’d like to donate, click here for a list of donation sites.

Weather and emergency information also are available on the state of Missouri’s website, MO.gov.

Senator Roy blunt is also urging everyone to proceed safely and use extra precautions. He says to call his office (417) 877-7814 for help.

And another Facebook page has been established to help link pets with their owners.

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I am moving in a few weeks and have been going through my clothing, gadgets, shoes, and more. While researching charities to donate my unneeded items to here in New York, it made me think that I am so fortunate that my mother and father taught me the importance of not just throw away things. Instead proactively go through your home a few times a year and give things to charity and those in need. I decided that I am going to donate to a local AIDS organization for families who have members with AIDS and that struggle.

Charity and the spirit of giving have been elevated to a new level in the past few years, following natural disasters like the earthquake in Japan, the war in Iraq, and terrorist attacks around the globe. Your child doesn’t have to be a Carnegie, a Ford, or a Rockefeller, to become a philanthropist.

Many parents are using the destruction delivered by these catastrophes as an opportunity to help children learn about charity and the importance of reaching out to others in their time of need.

You can make a family donation – big or small – and involve your child by allowing them to pick out the charity, write the check and even prepare the envelope to mail it.  It is important to allow your children to witness turning pain and grief/loss into a time of extending love and compassion to those they don’t even know, whether it be in the United States or around the world. 

Here is how your family can help.

1.    Donate clothes like me!
Periodically go through your closets rooting out clothes you haven’t worn in a while, which can be given to the Salvation Army or Goodwill for distribution to the needy. I always say if you haven’t worn it in 6-9 months…someone more deserving needs those clothes. Encourage your children to do the same. Allow them to select which clothes or toys they wish to donate. The value of this activity is diminished greatly if you go through their closets for them without their presence. For maximum benefit, get your children involved in choosing the appropriate items. Take your children with you when you drop the items off at the charitable destination.

2.    Help neighbors.
Regularly engage in a service-oriented project. Rake the leaves of an elderly couple. Bake cookies for a serviceman or servicewoman. If you have leftovers from when you go out to dinner, give them to a homeless person and teach your children that you just gave them a good meal.

3.    Make birthdays charitable.
Set up birthday parties as a time for giving to others. At your child’s first school-age birthday party, ask guests to bring a gift of a book (new or used) to be donated to a local charity. Talk to your son about the books he has and about children who have no books. Explain that one way to celebrate a birthday would be to give to those who have less. Involve the birthday boy in the decision of whether or not to give the books to a woman’s shelter, a doctor’s office, or some other appropriate organization. When you deliver the books with your son, record it on camera, and revisit that movie (or those pictures) on future birthdays.

4.    Give back to pets.
At regular intervals, buy dog or cat food and take it to the humane society. Allow your children to spend some time with the recipients of the gift.

5.    Deliver nutrition.
Build food baskets around the holidays and give to a needy family suggested by your church or school. Involve your children is selecting canned goods, fruit, and other treats to include. Decorate the gift package and deliver it together, as a family.

6.    Help elders.
Do things for the elderly that they have trouble doing for themselves. Pick up sticks in your neighbor’s yard after a big windstorm. Mow the grass for Grandma. Wash Grandpa’s car. Clean their windows in the spring. Help them plant flowers.

7.    Pitch in.
Get on a regular service schedule at your church or synagogue. Sign up for a time to mow the grass and trim the bushes. Take your turn ushering and allow your child to assist.

By implementing some of these ideas or others like them, you will be teaching your children that charity is not reserved only for emergencies. You will be helping them appreciate that reaching out to others in need is a way of life, rather than a moment in time when a catastrophic disaster occurs.

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After all that wiggling and the loose tooth still not falling out, Grampa Joe came to the rescue. With a piece of floss and a little tug, that little baby tooth went flying up in the air, hit the wall and bounced somewhere in the living room. Miranda was too busy laughing to realize that she was bleeding from where her tooth was. The Tooth Fairy came for a visit, and she was very generous! She gave Miranda a spinning toothbrush and a five-dollar bill since the first tooth was a special one. Finally, Miranda can go to school and write her name on the tooth chart at school! Yippee! Then my daughter completely surprised me. She decided to donate her tooth money to Operation Rice Bowl because she said she wanted to help the poor during Lent. I’m so proud of her.

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We at le•top believe that we are all part of one big ‘village’- and since we are fortunate to work with customers from all over the United States – and even a few from foreign countries – we have friends that make our world a small place with many shared experiences.  One of the things our customers and friends share is that they love the le•top ‘look’ – defined by a children’s ‘Happy Years – age 0 to 5!’  However right here at home – in Richmond California – there are children that struggle during these years that should be carefree.  It is important to us here at le•top that we contribute to worthwhile programs that focus on helping children – especially close to home.

Photos of thankful families receiving gifts from the Bay Area Rescue Mission

One of our favorite organizations is right here in Richmond – The Bay Area Rescue Mission.  This organization has been going strong for over 40 years, every year providing emergency shelter (over 80,000 nights,) over one million meals, recovery programs, spiritual counseling, education (after-school program, tutoring, transportation and athletic programs), job skills training, food pantry, resource distribution and a mobile outreach! 

Over the holiday season we were able to donate baby and children’s clothing for them to distribute in their Family Center.  We were really touched when we received a wonderful letter and a Certificate of Appreciation from the lovely people who administer this worthy program.  We also received a collage of photos – the smiles of the children are our best thanks!

We have partnered with the Rescue Mission for many years, and will continue to work with them to bring necessities to children in need.  If you’re interested in donating time, money or goods to the Rescue Mission please check them out at http://www.bayarearescue.org/index.html for more details.  Worthy programs like this one exist all around the United States.  We urge you to look close to home and to please give what you can, where you can. It does take all of us in our ‘village’ to raise our children.

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Our le•top elves with some of their gift filled boxes - clockwise from the back Daryle, Brenda, Linda, Diana, Robyn, Kristin

The Holiday Season brings thoughts of shopping, food and family – as we use every free moment to prepare for Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanza.  Unfortunately there are many reminders that not everyone has the essentials to make the holiday a true celebration – and in the spirit of the holiday we want to reach out to those less fortunate than ourselves.

For the past eight years I have participated in a program through the Samaritan’s Purse Organization named ‘Operation Christmas Child.’  This charity strives to send gifts to children throughout the world, as well as in our own backyard – children who would not be fortunate enough to receive gifts during the holiday season.

This year fellow le•top co-workers Linda, Brenda, Diana, Daryle, Robyn and I participated in this program to assist Santa to make a happy holiday for children in need.  Our mission was to choose a boy or girl (ages 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14) and then to fill a decorated shoebox as full as possible with toys, school items, hygiene essentials, hard candy or other desired items.  We had great fun posing as elves – shopping with local retailers to pick out the perfect gifts for these children.  le•top also donated plush toys and purses to the organization!

This wonderful charity gives us the option to track our shoe box gifts.  Several of the ‘elves’ decided they would love to find out the destinations of their boxes.  Check back and we will post an update on our gifts as the move around the world.

*National collection week for the Operation Christmas Child program, ends this Monday, November 23rd.  There is still time to participate in this wonderful program.  For more information and a drop-off location near you, please check www.samaritanspurse.org/occ for details.

 

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Kira Showing off her <I>Donation</I>

Kira Showing off her Donation

O. Henry’s famous story “The Gift of the Magi” teaches the lesson of selfless giving – of gifts from the heart.  Here at le•top we were able to witness one of our own ‘le•top children’ learning the value of an unselfish gift.

Robyn – our Assistant Credit Manager and mom to daughter Kira, age 9 – knows that at Kira’s very impressionable age she needs to teach her how to live a rewarding and fulfilling life.  Robyn is a great mom and tells us “I believe that encouraging and motivating children early in life is crucial. Kira really wanted to cut her hair at the beginning of summer, but after a long discussion about helping others in need of wigs she decided she just had to wait. We discussed that her hair would need to grow a bit longer so she could donate her ponytail to women or children who are suffering hair loss. Teaching her to give something of herself to those less fortunate is not only a selfless act but important to our society.”

It Made with a Little to Spare

She made it with more than an inch to spare.

Did you know it takes about 6 or 7 donated ponytails to make one wig? A wig can help an adult or child’s self-esteem when they are dealing with hair loss because of a medical treatment for illness.  Though there are a number of organizations that accept hair donations Robyn and Kira chose Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization encouraging individuals to donate a minimum of 8 inches of healthy hair that would then be used to make free wigs for women who have lost their hair as a result of cancer treatments.

It was a struggle for Kira to grow her hair that long but when the time FINALLY came she was so excited!  She said that she was happy to have helped someone in need – and the bonus was that the new haircut looks really cute!

Listed below are a few other organizations that support similar donations. Each organization has slightly different requirements about the length and condition of the hair, but each one will send you a packet, then you send the hair back to them. Very Easy!

http://www.wigsforkids.org

Basic requirements: hair must be 12 inches. (This organization provides wigs to children for no charge.)

http://www.locksoflove.org

Basic requirements: hair must be 10 inches. (This organization provides wigs either free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need.)

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