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