5 Fun Collection Drives to Host During the Holiday Season – From Halloween until the New Year

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The holiday season is upon us! From now until early January you’re bound to be buzzing about keeping the holiday spirt alive. While you go about enjoying everything this time of year has to offer, don’t forget to pause and take a moment to think about the children and families in your community who need a little extra help to have a joyous holiday season.

Here is a list of five fun collection drives you can host over the coming months to help local kids have what they need to thrive:

halloween_clip_art_11385The ‘Childhood Poverty is SPOOKY’ Drive – Halloween is such a fun holiday for kids (of all ages), but when families struggle to meet their child’s basic needs, it’s often hard to enjoy the simple things in life like dressing up and trick or treating. If you are having a spooky party this Halloween, why not consider adding a collection drive to the mix and help ALL local kids enjoy the holiday? Some items to collect include warm jammies and books to make cooler nights a little cozier. Bonus way to help kids: After Halloween, donate your kid’s costumes to EBC so we can hang on to them to give to another child next year.

leaf wreath thanksThe ‘Giving Thanks and Giving Back’ Drive – Turn your Thanksgiving event into a giving back event by asking guests to bring in a donation for EBC. Since you are likely giving thanks while eating yummy food, use this drive to help make sure local babies get the nourishment they need by collecting formula and baby food. In addition to giving food and formula to individuals (working through our provider partners), EBC also supplies ten area foodbanks with these life-saving items.

happy boy with christmas giftThe ‘A Happy Holiday for ALL” Drive – The candy is collected, the turkey is eaten and now it’s time for the season of giving. At EBC we love this time of year. While this community is generous year round, during the holiday you all give back so magnanimously it melts our hearts and keeps us warm until spring. There are so many creative ways to host holiday drives. If you are a business or organization, consider a giving tree where employees, volunteers or customers can take a tag and purchase one of our high-need items. Business and organizations can also keep a collection bin on site, collecting items like toys or books. Individuals can request donations of children’s items in lieu of gifts. There are many events during the holiday season, so this is the best time for you to get creative and create a fun collection drive that will help kids in your own backyard.

k3405201The ‘Resolve to Do More to Help Kids in 2016’ Drive – Why not make your New Year’s Resolution a little more altruistic this year, and help your friends do the same, by kicking off the New Year with an event that includes giving back. Take full advantage of the “New Year’s Baby” theme and ask guests to bring in diapers, pacifiers, bottles or anything baby that EBC can give to families to help get them off to a good start. Businesses and organizations, your ‘Resolve to Do More to Help Kids’ drive might include keeping a collection box in your office throughout the month of January.
Bonus:  On top of keeping you out of the overcrowded gyms in January, when you resolve to do more to help kids in 2016 the joy you feel in your heart at knowing you made a difference will last all year long.

mittensrob(great)The ‘Baby It’s Cold Out There’ Drive – Looking for a catchall winter drive? This might be the one for you. Host a ‘Baby It’s Cold Out There Drive’ and collect items local children need for winter. Coats, hats and mittens are some really great choices. It’s terrible to watch a child go without anytime, but to see a child without the clothing he or she needs to be warm in the winter is heartbreaking. During this, the happiest time of year, let’s do everything we can to keep these kids warm and dry.

Collecting stuff not right for you? You can still help EBC help children in your community by using your holiday event to raise money that will allow EBC to responsibly purchase items such as car seats, cribs, diapers and formula to supplement donations from the community.

Here are a few fun ways to raise funds for EBC: Groups or Individuals – Charge an entry fee for your white elephant gift exchange, set up a tip jar at your bar or charge a dollar every time someone says the word holiday. Businesses and Organization – Auction off a prized parking spot, have employees donate money in exchange for being able to dress casually on Friday or host a holiday bake sale. No matter what you choose, set a goal so participants can measure their success.

Have your own ideas for a holiday drive? You are always a creative bunch! Contact Cori at [email protected]/ to learn more about how easy and fun hosting a collection drive can be.

Meet Our Founder – Karen Ridlon

Twenty-five years ago, Karen Ridlon founded Eastside Baby Corner (EBC).   A certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (University of California, San Francisco, 1972), Karen worked as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in California and Washington, working in well child care, newborn care and newborn ICU support for a number of medical groups and doctors. In 1990, Karen founded Eastside Baby Corner to fill an unmet need of parents of newborns who lacked basic supplies for their children.

She is Executive Director Emeritus and a lifetime member of the EBC Board of Directors. Karen has been recognized for her efforts with many volunteer awards, including receiving the Leadership Eastside LENi Community Choice Leadership Award in 2013, Distinguished Member Award for the Washington State Chapter of NAPNAP (National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners) in 2013, Issaquah Schools Foundation Golden Apple Award (2009), and chosen as a UCSF Distinguished Alumni. Karen was a key player in the development of the Issaquah Community Center and has been a tireless contributor to many volunteer efforts over the years including scouting, the public schools, and her church. Karen is the mother of three children and a proud resident of Issaquah, where she lives with her husband. 

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