Focus 2: Health, Hunger, & Well-being.
Below are a list of health, hunger, and well-being related projects. Today we provide dental hygiene products, personal hygiene items, seeds for community gardens, holiday gifts, clothing, food, blankets, as well as new and gently used clothing. You can visit each project page to learn more!
Grandma’s Gifts’ believes that kids, who establish healthy habits early in life, will carry that behavior into adulthood. Having worked with the health departments in the past, we were greatly disturbed by the number of children without items for proper dental care or access to a dentist living in Appalachian communities. Due to the sweetness of Halloween, we decided that here was no better time to start taking care of your teeth. For such an occasion and for Make-A-Difference Day, we organized the Trick-or-Teeth! project in conjunction with Trick-or-Treat. What started as a project in October has extended to a yearly project to collect toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash, to send to county and city health departments, schools, and service organizations in Appalachia. Trick-or-Teeth! is about changing someone’s life, one tooth brush at a time! Learn More Here!
After many discussions with Appalachian organizations in need and internal volunteers, we decided to start a new program to provide vegetable and herb seeds to families in Appalachia. One solution to hunger is handing people canned food, another is assisting them to produce some of the food they consume. This program then not only helps feed hungry people but increases their self-sufficiency, self-worth, and self-esteem!
Learn More Here.
B3: Bubbles Breaking Barriers
No matter your age, class, nationality, or gender, everyone likes to feel clean. Yet, when you are hungry, shampoo and soap are last on the list. Thus, Grandma’s Gifts collects donations of toiletries such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, razors, shaving cream, lotion, deodorant, band aids, q-tips, hand sanitizer, feminine products, and wash clothes, to be distributed throughout Appalachia so that poor hygiene is not a barrier to learning, success, and happiness.
Over the years more and more people were interested in assisting Grandma’s Gifts by donating new or gently used clothing. Now, Grandma’s Gifts works with Appalachian organizations to help provide such clothing to families who are in need. Through donations from individuals, businesses, and nonprofits, Grandma’s Gifts works to fill closets with nice, clean clothing.
Easter Baskets of Hope
In 2010, long time volunteer, Andrew Flannery, had approached Founder Emily Douglas and asked if he could take on a project of his own. Excited, Emily said sure and asked Andrew his plans. After much thought and personal reflection, Andrew decided that he wanted to provide Easter dinners to families in need. Now, volunteers purchase food, bubbles, gifts, and Easter baskets. Then the baskets and food are delivered to families and churches in Appalachia.
Thanksgiving Canned Food Drive
In 1996 the Douglas’s built a 6ft tall turkey head and tail to creatively collect canned foods. Grandma’s Gifts then asked people from the community to help build the turkeys body by stacking donated canned food on bales of hay. These large stacks of food make the turkey’s middle. When the collection is complete, the food is then boxed and the boxes are delivered to needy families, food pantries, and battered women’s shelter so that they may enjoy a family holiday at Thanksgiving.
As the first project started by Grandma’s Gifts in 1993, we raised enough funds to purchase gifts for four children. Over the years, the project has grown and thousands of Appalachian children referred by social service agencies have received coats, shoes, clothes, books, educational games, and toys Christmas morning. These gifts and the funds to provide them are received from folks living all across the United States, and throughout the world! Today we offer our donors the opportunity to ‘adopt’ children from our list and provide those children with their requests. What is hard for most people to remember is that these children need the necessities such as a coats, shoes, blankets, socks, and gloves, not toys and video games. Learn More Here!