Hello HOUSTON, TX and Kids' Meals Charity! The folks at Kids' Meals provide 1,700 healthy lunches to pre-school aged kids living in poverty and too young to benefit from free school lunches. Kids Meals DELIVERS Monday through Friday at no cost to the families. They have a wish list on their website requesting simple things like brown paper bags, lunch baggies, rubber gloves, non-perishable snack items. If you are heading to the Houston area please think about those less fortunate kids counting on compassionate folks like you to help ensure at least one regular meal 5 days a week. http://www.kidsmealshouston.org/
The beautiful islands of Turks and Caicos! Going scuba diving or whale watching in Turks and Caicos? TAKE ME WITH YOU!!! Be sure to Take An Extra Bag and consider joining forces with the Provo Childrens' Home. They have a "wish list" on their webpage and would happily meet you at your resort or hotel! Join forces and Take An Extra Bag! http://www.pch.tc/
BAHAMAS for spring break? Reach out to Terri Cunningham at S.T.R.A.W, Inc. as they work directly with young ladies (ages 11-18) facing gang influences, substance abuse, neglect, bullying, sexually transmitted infections, and poverty. S.T.R.A.W is Strengthening, Transforming, Restoring, Affirming young Women. They are always in need of new or gently used girls clothing, personal hygiene items, school supplies, and funding as they face the demand to expand their programs. Contact Terri and they will have someone pick the donations up from your hotel or resort! http://strawincbahamas.com/
CHICAGO! A wonderful town! Dream for Kids in Chicago is passionate about reaching at-risk-youths whether they are living in poverty or with disabilities. They are working to help these kids to DREAM again. If you live in or will be traveling through or to Chicago soon please consider helping Dream for Kids. Their website is easy to navigate and they offer lots of ways to help. http://www.dreamsforkids.org/about-us/
Heading to OC, MD? Ocean City, MD is home to a 45 bed shelter for families, and men and/or women in need. In addition to supporting the community in crisis they stay in contact and follow up once folks move on. They could use your help! Click on their volunteer/donate tab to see how easy it would be to offer a helping hand. http://www.diakoniaoc.org/
Is Myrtle Beach calling to you? Helping Hand of Myrtle Beach could use your help if you are in the area in the coming months. They step up during crisis and may provide food, rent and utility assistance, gasoline, local and long distance bus tickets, prescription medications, diapers, hygiene items and referrals to other appropriate agencies. Take An Extra Bag to Myrtle Beach!http://www.helpinghandofmyrtlebeach.com/index.php
Washington, D.C. is our spot for today. If you are visiting or live in the area you can take canned goods to DC Central Kitchen. http://www.dccentralkitchen.org/ Not only are they working to feed the hungry, they also have a number of programs to help empower the community. For example, they teach homeless men and women culinary skills so they have the tools to get a job in order to support themselves. The epitome of "teach a man to fish". Please seek them out on your next trip to DC!
Miami/Dade in Florida has a worthy group with the Miami Rescue Mission that supports the homeless and underserved in the area. Their website is very inspirational complete with success stories. They also have a thrift store where you can donate your gently loved clothing or other goods! Check out the website before your next trip to the Miami area! Clean out your closet and do some good as you Take An Extra Bag! http://miamirescuemission.com/thrift.htm
Easter is coming up! Have you begun to plan your Easter dinner? Ham? Potatoes? Deviled eggs? Have you considered what the homeless will eat? Drop a grocery bag of canned and dried goods off at your local food pantry, soup kitchen, or homeless shelter to support those who can only have an Easter dinner if YOU commit to contribute. Don't know where your closest soup kitchen or food pantry is? Send me an email about where you live and I will find an organization for YOU! Or, put your trust in the Feeding America which can also connect you to food banks close to you.
Thank you so much for your willingness to help! http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx
Love to help animals? The Animal House in Jamaica WANTS YOU!
http://www.theanimalhousejamaica.org/ Send an email to Maureen, the Executive Director, with the dates you might be traveling to Jamaica. They would love your donations of old towels, dog or cat food or toys, shampoos or other cleaning products, leashes, etc., and welcome your visit to their facility to play with the animals there! You can also visit and like their facebook page at HTTPS://www.Facebook.com/pages/The-Animal-House-Jamaica/30825120519
Kari Stiles, RN, BSN, WCCN, CRRN. Philadelphia Metro Area, Pennsylvania.