Friday, December 12, 2008

CCF Hits the Streets of Richmond to Give Back Locally

By Nicole Duciaume, Documentation and Sponsorship Support Officer for CCF

Earlier in November, a group of us at CCF were looking for ways to give back locally this holiday season. After all, our headquarters is in Richmond, and we love being here.

So, we set out to identify two local organizations that share many of our own goals and program approaches, but whose clients and recipients are all Richmonders.

The first – Virginia Council of Churches Refugee Resettlement Program (VCCRRP), serving the refugee community in Richmond. The second – Freedom House, serving the homeless and working poor in the greater Richmond area.

We asked them one, simple question: how can we help?

An answer came in the form of CCF’s 2008 Holiday Gift Drive. Beginning Nov. 21 we asked staff to donate children’s books to benefit VCCRRP and items such as hats, gloves and scarves to benefit Freedom House. Staff response was overwhelming.

On Dec. 10, I, and two other staff representatives, hand delivered these items to both organizations to learn more about their mission and clients, hopes and needs, frustrations and successes.

A representative from VCCRRP told us that our donations were “exactly what the spirit of the holidays is all about; extending a hand of welcome and peace.”

A representative from Freedom House also thanked CCF for helping “make this holiday special for many that get lost in the shuffle of life.”

It was an amazing opportunity to give of ourselves and see the outpouring of support and generosity from our staff. It was even more amazing to be able to represent my colleagues to these other organizations.

Our goal was to let them know that CCF is not only committed to the 15.2 million children and families around the world who we support through our organization, but that we also intimately care about the wellbeing of people in our own community.

This outpouring of support inspired us to re-write a well-known holiday song (please begin humming the classic tune “The 12 Days of Christmas”)

On the twelfth day of our Holiday Drive, CCF staff gave back:

377 total items
246 children’s books
35 pairs of gloves
30 stylish hats
23 sets of warm things (combos of hats, scarves, and/or gloves)
17 comfy scarves
8 board games, coloring books and puzzles
7 blockbuster children’s movies
5 children’s throw pillows
3 pairs of ear warmers
2 pairs of socks and
And even one pair of leg warmers.

(Ok – you can stop humming now).

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