On our Bay Area website, 510families.com, we recently featured a family that did Project Night Night. But this sweet charity is available nationwide so we wanted to share the message more broadly. Our guest blogger is Rebecca from ThisFineDay.
Project Night Night has become an organization close to my heart. A reader tipped me off to this caring and sweet charity that provides comforts to children staying in homeless shelters throughout the US. Their website explains that anyone can get involved by purchasing a Project Night Night tote bag for $3.50. You then fill it with a lovey, a book and a blanket for a specific child in an unfamiliar place at a difficult time. I immediately wanted to get involved with my daughters.
The only hitch was that there was a 10 tote bag order minimum. I fired off emails to my two daughters’ classes along with another to my babysitting co-op to see if I could get at least 8 other people who would want to participate.
I was floored in the most brilliant way when I had requests from my “village” for 72 tote bags! They were so grateful to be included in the opportunity to give back in such a sweet way that their children could comprehend. I ordered the totes by email from Project Night Night and received them just 4 business days later along with an invoice. I distributed the totes to my group of do-gooders in exchange for a few dollar bills to cover costs. I started a spreadsheet to keep track of all the orders, distribution and the money back just because 72 totes are a lot to keep a pulse on.
One of the most touching moments was having the girls pick out the blankets, books and loveys for the kiddos. They both put a lot of thought into it and they wanted to add so much more in the totes, though it wouldn’t be fair, so we stuck to the requested items. I loved their enthusiasm for giving to a child they don’t even know!
Project Night Night connected me with a local shelter where I’ve directed all of the tote bag receivers to deliver their bags. My girls (aged 3 and 5) were the first to deliver their bags and we had the pleasure of meeting with the shelter’s co-ordinator, who was very happy to see the Project come back to their shelter. The girls proudly gave their bags and are now really into trying to find ways to help others. Just last night my three year old shot her ice cream cone up in the air to hand over to a hungry group of homeless young adults as I was giving them our left-over pasta on our way home from dinner last night in the City. The smiles of joy, relief and disbelief on the group of hungry young folks was priceless.
I was deeply touched that so many in our community had such compassion in their hearts for others. I really wanted my girls to have the opportunity to shop for another child their age who is going through a difficult time.
Thank you Becky for sharing this opportunity and your story. Find out more about Becky’s experience in her blog post: Project Night Night: Providing Nighttime Comforts to Homeless Children.
[Photos and story by Becky Matthews]