If you have kids, you know how expensive it is to keep them in clothes that fit – and it can be tricky even if you’ve got a steady income. Imagine a place where kids from struggling families could get clean clothes that fit, completely for free, from infancy throughout childhood. Doesn’t that place sound like a godsend?
Now imagine if that free clothing was only one service provided by a single agency.
My mom works for such an agency: the Family Resource Center in my hometown of McCook, Nebraska. With an annual budget of under $45,000, the Center provides parenting education/support, family advocacy, a children’s clothing exchange, a checkout library of assistive tech equipment* for individuals (of any age) with special needs, a monthly respite session for families with children who have special needs**, access to community resources, a school supply giveaway, and Christmas gift assistance. It also co-sponsors events for families and administers a food program.
*this library is mind-blowing to me. All this stuff is provided for use for free – and consider that a single fork for someone whose hands have limited motor function is like 22 bucks. A fork!
**This one is especially dear to my heart. Finding childcare for kids who have special needs is difficult, and paying for it is impossible for many families. ‘Respite’ days provide the chance for these parents to do simple – but otherwise nearly impossible – things like go grocery shopping, or see a movie, or play cards with friends.
Last year, the Center served about 500 families in eight counties. When the economy tanked, the number of families who needed help increased while grant money that had been available in the past evaporated. The Center had to learn to do more with (a lot) less.
As we enter Child Abuse Prevention Month, I would like to ask you to make a special effort to do your online shopping via my Amazon Affiliate link. ALL proceeds from this month will be given to the Family Resource Center. [If you haven't done this before, all you have to do is click on my Amazon link and start your shopping. This does not affect the prices of your purchases in any way.]
Throughout the month, I’ll pass along stories of families who have been helped by the Family Resource Center. Here’s one to start:
In December, a mom came in to use the clothing exchange. She left with new winter coats for her children and a new car seat for her baby—and tears in her eyes. She told Center staff that she would now be able to take the money she had intended to use for coats and a car seat and instead use it to buy Christmas gifts for her five children. Not more gifts, mind you. Gifts, period.
Every little bit helps improve somebody’s life. All you have to do is use this link to make the purchases you were already planning to make. Thank you.