Six Fun Collection Drives You Can Host This Summer to Help Local Kids in Need

IMG_3989You’ve donated all of Junior’s outgrown clothing and toys (no, we won’t tell him what really happened to Mr. Huggalots, or that Spiderman shirt that was three sizes too small). Now you’re looking for a way to do even more to help the kids in your community. Why not consider hosting a collection drive or event for EBC? Hosting a drive or event is a fun way to get your friends and family involved in giving back. And, because you get to choose what you’ll collect, you allow EBC to receive some of the items we need most.

Now that summer’s here, we thought we might offer some examples of Summer-fun Drives you might consider. Remember, these are just ideas, get creative and make YOUR drive or event work for you.

 

FOR INDIVIDUALS

The Summer Party Drive: Are you having a few friends over for an outdoor BBQ, or maybe the entire family is coming to your house for a reunion? You can throw “giving back to the community” in with all of your well planned décor, food and activities by asking your guest to bring a summer-fun item to donate to EBC. The items you collect will allow local children to enjoy the summer safely while looking “like all the other kids.” Some items to consider for this drive are: sunscreen, beach towels and swimsuits.

The Sleepover Birthday Party: Your kids having been bugging you throughout the school year to have a sleepover. Now their summer birthday is approaching and you realize this is probably the best time to finally give in and let them have a few friends sleep over (if there ever was a best time to have ten sleep-deprived, sugared-up children running around your house). Somewhere in the middle of figuring out where to buy a gluten, dairy and nut-free cake that still tastes good, take advantage of the opportunity to teach your kids (and their friends) about giving back by requesting they bring a bedtime item to donate in lieu of a gift. The items you collect at this drive will help tuck local kids safely and warmly into bed each night. Some items to consider for this drive are: pajamas, books, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

FOR GROUPS

The Storefront Drive: Catch those shoppers who are buying the last few items for their summer camping trip, and encourage them to help make sure all kids have a chance to enjoy the summer, by hosting a store front drive. Collect toiletries (which EBC can’t receive used) like baby wash, lotions and diaper cream for the babies, and shampoo, body wash and deodorant for the bigger kids (we help kids up to age 12). The items you collect from this drive will allow parents to keep their kids clean and healthy. Some items to consider for this drive are: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, diaper cream and deodorant.

The Tea or Luncheon: With the weather turning warmer, perhaps your group is headed outside for a garden-side tea or luncheon. Add helping kids in need to the agenda at your group’s next gathering (of any sort) by collecting baby basics to donate to new little ones coming home from the hospital. Your items will ensure new moms have all they need for baby so they can focus all of their energy on making sure their little one feels loved. Items to consider for this drive include: bottles (with extra nipples), pacifiers, baby grooming kits, receiving blankets, Onesies, bibs or maybe a pampering item for mom (no food please).

FOR BUSINESSES

The Employee Competition: Make work a little more fun for those dedicated employees (who’d probably rather be outside enjoying the nice weather) by hosting a collection drive competition for your employees. See who can bring in the most items (of your choosing) in a week or month. Choosing a themed drive – like ‘little feet’, or ‘if it goes on your bottom’ – keeps the competition lively and the donations focused. Some items to consider for this drive are: socks and shoes or pants and shorts.

The Incentivized Drive: Drum up a little business while giving back by offering an incentive to customers who bring a donation during your drive or event. In this everyone-wins situation your customers get a discount or reward, you get an extra marketing opportunity and local kids get some of the items they need most. For this type of drive, keeping it simple is key. Have your customers bring in only one or two types of items. Some items to consider for this drive are: Diaper and wipes.

Have the perfect drive idea? Contact Cori Benson at [email protected] to talk about the when, where, why and how.

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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