Because of our great donors, we were able to take 110 kids from Symmes Valley Elementary (Lawrence County Ohio) and their teachers to the Columbus Zoo for the day! Trip Cost: $483.00
Today we got up really early to head down to southern Ohio to deliver gifts. The snow fall the night before was quite bad, but if Santa can make it -- so can we! We made three stops, pictures are below of the day. Stop number one was in Portsmouth, Ohio where we dropped off new toys, gently used toys, and gently used clothing to a church from Adams county (who agreed to meet us so we didn't have to drive out in the truck in the snow too far). Stop two was in Ironton, Ohio at the Harvest for the Hungry Food Bank. There were unloaded bags and bags of gently used clothing and hygiene products! Stop three was Symmes Valley elementary school where we purchased holiday gifts for 35 children, about 3,000 new and gently used books (2,000 new, 1,000 gently used), and about 1,700 dental hygiene items. This would not have been possible if it weren't for our amazing donors. THANK YOU!
Gently Used Clothing FMV: $15,000
Holiday Gifts FMV: $8,750
Toys FMV: $5,000
Books FMV: $20,000
Hygiene Supplies (same as listed from day 1): $2,180
Grandma’s Gifts is a nonprofit that I founded at the age of 11 in memory of my Appalachian grandmother after she died from breast cancer. My grandma was born and raised in Ironton, Ohio as one of twelve children and lost her father at a young age. She grew-up personally experiencing the humiliation and difficulties associated with poverty. As a young child she shared stories with me about what it was like growing up in Depression-era Appalachia and how children had made fun of her home with newspaper curtains and her tattered clothing.
While growing up was hard, neighbors had graciously helped her family by giving them extra food from their gardens or hand-me-down clothes. My grandmother never forgot the caring neighbors who reached out to help her and the family. After her marriage my grandfather, and as an owners of a small business, my grandma never forgot her roots. Often she took us along to shop for clothes and toys to donate at Christmas time or to deliver food to veterans who lived in caves throughout the county. As children, my brother, sister, and I believed that everyone's grandmother did the same. We always knew our grandma was special, but we never knew just how special. Once she passed away we began to realize that not everyone acted this way and the need for help was greater than imagined. While I was only 9 when she passed away, through her words and her actions she taught us that it is our responsibility to reach out and help others who do not know the advantages that we often take for granted.
Grandma’s Gifts has now been in existence for 18 years and through the support of people from all over the world we have been able to provide more than $12.7M in goods, services, and opportunities to Appalachian peoples of all backgrounds in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and New York. We are a recognized IRS nonprofit meaning that donations are tax-deductible. We have been lucky enough to have been recognized by President Bill Clinton, featured on Oprah, and profiled in People, Time, Business Week, Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, Guideposts, Family, Seventeen, The Angelos of Kappa Delta, and The Ohio State Alumni Magazine. I serve as the Executive Director and we have many people who help to make a difference. No one receives compensation to run this organization allowing all donation go to the cause!
If you are looking for a way to make a difference this Christmas, join us for the Secret Santa Project... and here's how!
Option 1: Be a Secret Santa!
Click here to see kids on our list and email us about what child or children you hope to help. Individuals, families, or organizations can ‘adopt’ children off the tree. Please note that these children need the necessities such as new clothes, coats, shoes, socks, underwear, and gloves. Yet, every child loves toys, so we would suggest new books or new educational games that DO NOT require batteries or have easily-breakable parts! We suggest spending $80-$120 per child. We ask that all Christmas gifts are NEW. All donations are tax-deductible.We also ask that people do NOT wrap gifts. While this is fun, wrapping paper tears easily and does not survive transport. If you would like to donate a roll of wrapping paper you are more than welcome to do so, as we present this to families to wrap gifts donated. We ask that all gifts be received by Monday, December 13th.
Option 2: Donate Cash, Check, or Gift Card!
If you’re not in the shopping mood, you can make a cash donation or write a check. All donations ARE tax-deductible. We also love gift cards to places like Target or Old Navy. With these donations Grandma’s Gifts volunteers shop for children who do not have a Secret Santa. We ask that all donations be received by Monday, December 13th.
Send donations to:
444 Green Meadows Drive West
Powell, OH 43065
Option 3: Help Spread the Word or Fundraise with us All Year-Long!
Feel free to copy and share this information with friends and family, follow us on Twitter (@GrandmasGifts), or send people to our new website (www.GrandmasGifts.org). If you have a group looking to make a difference for the holidays, the Secret Santa child list will be on our website. Spreading the word of service is as important as volunteering and donating!
Thank you for reading this post, we hope you decide to help out this holiday!
George McNab, Zach Douglas, Teresa Daulong and Emily Douglas-McNab.