On Saturday, I traveled down to New Bedford with a friend to help Jim Stevens start his GiftsToGive warehouse. We assembled repurposedÂ (i.e., used) shelving and tables–it was just like playing with a life-size erector set. Without the responsibility of orienting or training anyone else, I was able to focus on accomplishing the tasks, so didn’t even notice the newspaper photographer. There were a few dozen volunteers who working all morning, but I was pictured in the article in the New Bedford Standard Times. This is unusual since when I personally volunteer, I aim to be low-key and not make it all about me.
Gifts to Give is going to be a well-organized charity that serves many people in need in this commonwealth, including kids over age 13 and their parents, by collecting and sorting new and gently used donations of clothing, toys, books, child safety equipment, prom dresses, etc., and distributing them to families who need these items. It has an ambitious outreach plan, as well as one to engage volunteers of all ages in meaningful work. And, of course, it has a good distribution chain of dedicated, front-line social workers and assorted distribution sites planned.
After the G2G warehouse gets going in early ’09, PMD will likely organize a service project so people can get acquainted with this charity AND so we can respond to requests from some of our volunteers for opportunities beyond Boston.