Creating a Light Up a Life Gift Basket for Miami Rescue Mission #EnergizerCFK #CBias

Last week, I went shopping at my local Walmart Super Center for supplies to create an Energizer Light Up a Life gift basket for our local homeless shelter, as part of a simple service project for Champions for Kids. I wanted to create a gift basket full of emergency supplies for a child to keep them safe during You can read all about my shopping trip in this Google+ story I created.

While there are many worthwhile organizations in the greater Miami area, I chose Miami Rescue Mission located in Overtown, an organization that helps the needy, the homeless, and the recovering. With programs ranging from after school tutoring, to summer camps, to providing food and shelter for those in need, I felt that they would benefit the most from my gift basket.

I have been there once before, eons ago. My church youth group went on a little trip to feed the homeless in the area and to pass out literature on salvation. That was a long time ago – maybe 20 years? I barely remembered what the area looked like! As I got out of my car to bring the gift basket in to the Miami Rescue Mission, I was struck by what I saw. I felt it would be inappropriate to take photos, as there were many homeless in front of the building, but I did take this photo of an incredible piece of street art across the street.

When I went shopping for the items for my Energizer Light Up a Life gift basket, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to provide. Unlike the Northern states, Florida doesn’t get the cold winters that create emergencies – but we do have Hurricane season, which presents the same emergency circumstances.

My tentative list included:

  • Energizer flashlight
  • Energizer batteries
  • non-perishable snacks
  • bottled water
  • bandages
  • ointment
  • first aid kit
  • toys of some sort
I found a ton of great items at Walmart and even added extras to my shopping cart that I thought the children would enjoy! I ended up finding the perfect stuffed animal in the Valentine’s Day section – and they were only $4.99! I plan to go back after their Valentine’s Day sale begins to buy a few more for future gift baskets!

I also found these cute little rain ponchos, which are perfect for any emergency kit in Miami – no one wants their children getting soaked in the rain, and it’s always raining in Miami!

I ended up purchasing a ton of different items for my emergency supply gift basket; with everything from coconut water, raisins, bandages and toothbrush to a stuffed animal, bubbles, activity kits and hair bands – and of course, an Energizer flash light and batteries!

I think that my Energizer Light Up a Life gift basket full of emergency supplies came out really cute – what do you think? I even added a little Nutella-to-go snack pack, I couldn’t resist! Everyone loves Nutella!

When I arrived at the Miami Rescue Mission on Friday, I wasn’t sure which building to take my basket to – there were four different buildings because they have so many outreach centers!

I ended up taking my gift basket to the main center, and a director came out to meet me. As we talked a little about my simple service project and why I was bringing them this gift basket, he expressed his gratitude and told me he would be taking the basket to the women’s center down the street, next door to the Community Activity Center, where the youth program is ran.

Participating in the Champions For Kids Energizer Light Up a Life simple service project was the first charitable activity I have done – hands on – in many years. The smile on the face of the director I spoke to made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And driving around Overtown (I got lost twice) that afternoon – it made me want to do more.

I live a good life. Through a combination of hard work and flat out good luck, the life I lead is a great one, and I want for nothing…and I know how lucky I am. When I asked the director if there was anything in particular that the center needed in the future, do you know what he told me?

ANYTHING.

We are talking about a part of Miami that needs anything and everything – nothing is too little or insignificant that they do not want it. He told me to check out their volunteers section of the Miami Rescue Mission website, or to come back and talk to someone in the administrative offices when I had a chance to see about their programs.

When I got home, I looked over their website and felt compelled to do something – anything – to help more. For now, I’m going to concentrate on helping with their Hope Totes drive; it’s a drive to collect purple tote bags full of personal hygiene supplies for the homeless in the area.

Do you want to learn more about Champions for Kids and the simple service projects that you can take part in? Follow @Champions4Kids on Twitter to see more stories like my own and to find out about other projects, or check out the Champions for Kids website.

 

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, but all opinions are my own. #cbias

Light Up a Life with Champions for Kids Care Kits! #EnergizerCFK #CBias

Here in Miami, we are often unprepared when Winter arrives. We don’t always get really cold weather, so when we do, many people are without heating systems, warm clothes and the proper supplies to get them through the cold spells! We always make emergency preparedness kits for summers because of Hurricane season, so I know the importance of having emergency supplies on hand for little ones!

The Center of Disease Control recommends having a kit ready in preparation for any emergency that may arise. They recommend the kit include food, water, flash light, extra batteries, medications, first aid kit, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents, and other necessities.

This is why I am preparing an emergency preparedness kit (wow, it feels weird to say that outside of Hurricane season) in conjunction with Champions for Kids Simple Service Projects for my local homeless shelter that provides assistance to women and children in Miami. I recently read that over 9 million children suffer from non-fatal injuries each year, and accidents are the leading cause of death for children. Additionally, dangerous weather events cause hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year!

I’ll be going shopping at Walmart this weekend with my daughter to pick up supplies and a pretty basket to deliver my supplies in when I visit Miami Rescue Mission next week. When I called the shelter yesterday, they told me what would be best to include in my emergency kit:

  • bandages
  • ointment
  • first aid kits
  • flashlights
  • extra batteries
  • bottled water
  • non-perishables like granola bars and dried fruits
We will also be including some fun activity kits and perhaps stuffed animals – because children need to keep occupied during storms!

Have you heard about Champions for Kids yet? Champions for Kids works to mobilize MILLIONS of people by providing training and resources to improve the lives of children in communities across America and beyond. Our goal is to mobilize 20 Million people by 2020.

How To Get Involved

It’s easy to make a difference when you do a Simple Service Project with Champions For Kids. Gather your friends, family, and co-workers to help children stay safe and be prepared by putting together Care Kits for kids! Include items like band-aids, hand wipes, tissues, flashlights, extra batteries, and bottled water! Give the Care Kits to an organization in your community that serves children (like a school, shelter, religious organization, or nonprofit).

The Simple Service Project that I am doing is the Energizer Light Up A Life Simple Service Project! After I gather my supplies at Walmart this weekend, I will come back and share photos of my Care Kit! I feel really good about this and I am really excited to be working on this Simple Service Project with Energizer!

There will be a Twitter party on February 9th at 9 pm eastern time to talk more about this project with Champions for Kids and Energizer, and there will be prizes!

RSVP here because there will be prizes given out during the Twitter party! A few lucky participants of the Twitter party will receive (2) $25, (1) $50, and (1) $100 Walmart Gift Cards!
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are my own!