We kicked off November with the announcement of our gift box donation drive. The holiday season brings a large demand for our gift boxes. As always, we want to help as many families as we can, so we asked for extra help from you. Your donations are important because we use those funds to purchase the products that go inside our boxes. Donated gift boxes contain the same items as the ones we donate. We believe very mama and baby deserves the same high standard of care. To make donated gift boxes extra special, we are including a special card that wishes mamas hope and joy for the holidays~ and it’s signed with the name of the mama it was donated on behalf of, or the name of the generous business who made a donation to In Kind. We are so grateful for our kind and supportive community.
The day we posted about our donation drive, something wonderful happened. Cat & Nat shared about In Kind’s mission in their Instagram stories!!! We had an outpouring of support over the coming days and weeks. Our second and third biggest days on record for website traffic came because of that act of kindness from them. We are so grateful to Cat & Nat for giving us love. We love following Cat & Nat on social media. They are such a source of laughter and fun, and they set an amazing example of being kind, and lifting others up along with them.
Here is a random fact for you about our Instagram audience- Toronto, Canada is ranked #2 in our top locations of followers. Portland, Oregon is #1, and Sherwood, Oregon (where we’re based) is #3. We’re very thankful to these special Ontarians Cat & Nat, and Sarah Nicole Landry of @thebirdspapaya for sharing about In Kind this year. That may have something to do with it 😉
In November we made gift box donation deliveries to several organizations. Baby Blues Connection does amazing work with moms and families experiencing depression, anxiety or stress and provides them with support. At baby Blue Connection our gift boxes are given to mamas needing an emotional boost. Our gift boxes help mamas feel loved, cared for, and not alone. Next we made a delivery to PDX Diaper Bank. The diaper bank has a cloth diapering program they offer to families, which is a great resource for reducing waste, and diapering on a budget. Families receive our gift boxes as participants in the program to supplement the cloth diapers they receive. What a great gift to new parents!
Our next delivery was to the SHARE- Sherwood Family Resource Center. I was lucky enough to get a tour of their new space while I was visiting. The ladies there have been working really hard to make a great “shopping” experience at their clothing closet. The SHARE center is a resource through the local school district, and we’re so happy to provide young families with gift boxes, to help get them off to a great start. Our final gift box donation was to the Domestic Violence Resource Center. The DVRC provides education, support and empowerment to survivors and their children, who are affected by partner violence. They offer counseling, advocacy, shelter services and community outreach. New or expecting mamas seeking support from DVRC are given a gift box as part of the support they receive.
Other items we were able to pass along to the DVRC were dozens of full size sticks of Earth Mama Organics deodorant. Megan from DVRC mentioned how thankful they are for these because they have a current need for deodorant to add to the hygiene kits they give to families. We’re very thankful to Earth Mama for donating several boxes of deodorant, baby oil, and other miscellaneous products. We’ve been working hard to pass these items along to local families, and other organizations in our community.
We gave multiple boxes of deodorant to Rahab’s Sisters in Portland, boxes of deodorant to families displaced from the forest fires in Otis, who are currently living in hotels. South Portland Young Lives received three boxes including deodorant, and several items for new mamas and babies. Possible with God donation closet also received a box of deodorant. This time of year is when many organizations are in need of hygiene items. We were so happy to pass these products along to those in need. If you are a local organization in need of deodorant please let us know! We would love to get some to you. Reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In November we gave thanks to the wonderful businesses who donated their products to include in our gift boxes this year. We featured a new business each week for the first three weeks of November, highlighting their item as a bonus. Thank you to Bumkins Baby for donating your waterproof bibs, Hvnly Boutique for donating your handmade gemstone earrings, and Lamaze Organics for donating your organic cotton onesies. Your generosity means so much, especially during the craziness that was 2020.
In November we also celebrated our one year anniversary of our first gift box donation delivery. On November 15, 2019 we made our first delivery to the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center Women’s Clinic in Hillsboro. We can’t wait to see them in December! We also celebrated picking up our largest order of boxes from production at Packaging Resources Company in Tualatin. The look on their faces when we pulled up to the warehouse with our minivan and SUV was pretty priceless. Next time we’ll have to bring something larger… fingers crossed!
At our board meeting this month, we had the difficult task of selecting two winners for the doula/midwife gift box sponsorship program we’re starting in 2021. Applicants were asked to tell us about their work, and how their programs currently give back, and support families in their communities. We chose one local (Oregon) applicant, and one from another US location. We are excited to announce that Annie from PNW Doulas is our local winner, and Doula Kaytee from Minnesota. Congratulations to you both! We can’t wait to get your first gift boxes on their way!!
I am always so blown away by the kindness, love and generosity In Kind receives. We are so grateful for your support, in all the ways you choose to give back. Thank you for taking the time to read this!