Donor Appreciation Week - In-Kind Donor

My first experience at Infant Crisis Services was a luncheon where we toured the facility and listened to stories from people who Infant Crisis Services has helped. After the luncheon I went home, realized how lucky I was and cried. Since then, I have learned many people have the same reaction after visiting Infant Crisis Services for the first time and learning about the services the nonprofit provides. The tears that came after my visit were twofold. On one hand I was crying for the children and their worried parents or caregivers. On the other, I cried because I was so touched by the extent to which all the employees and volunteers truly cared about the individuals that came in for assistance. Both of these still touch me every time I walk into Infant Crisis Services.

Hearing some of the stories shared by those who have been helped really affected me that day and I decided to help out with this amazing organization however I could. I began donating my time, resources, and my daughters’ outgrown clothing and toys. Soon after I was asked to join the In-Kind Donations Committee and have served on the committee ever since. This committee helps with drives, picking up donations, and general brainstorming of ideas that will continue to inspire the generosity of our community. I love meeting at Infant Crisis Services and spending time with the wonderful friends I have made there. I have even brought my two daughters with me to meetings on occasion – which has also hopefully helped ignite a philanthropic spark within each of them.

One particular moment with my daughters at Infant Crisis Services still makes me proud today. After considerable negotiations, I persuaded them each to choose some toys to donate. Just as we were dropping them off at Infant Crisis Services, both girls started to change their mind about parting with their toys. The volunteer who was working the warehouse door offered to take them on a short tour to see where the toys would go and how they would help. Both of my girls were shocked to see that the toy shelves were almost empty and that the toys we brought that day would help to fill them back up. The smiles on their faces as we left were priceless (as was the lesson they learned that day about the joy of giving). I love that they were able to see how they helped firsthand and that they now understand why I spend some of my time volunteering at Infant Crisis Services.

When I talk about Infant Crisis Services with friends, everyone always agrees about what a special organization it is. I think some of the biggest compliments I hear from people is that you can truly see the help that is given and you can truly see how your donations directly contribute. Whether donating money, time, diapers, formula or other baby items – every employee and volunteer is genuinely happy to receive the donation no matter the size. That kind of spirit is so unique – and I am so happy and proud to be a part of it!

-Mandy LaForge