Miriam’s Basket is a not-for profit organization established April 2011 to provide clothing and shoes to children in Northeast Florida who have been victims of abuse, neglect, or personal tragedy.
Our MISSION is to intervene in the critical times of these children by providing items such as clothing, shoes and socks, pajamas, underwear, coats, etc., as mandated in Matthew 25:31-40.
‘I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me….’
Why Do Children Need Our Help? The case workers request our assistance in providing clothes for children who have been removed from their homes.
The very first child that we helped in 2011 was a 5-year old girl. Her mother had dropped her off for a relative to babysit her.
The mother never came back for her daughter.
Can you imagine being abandoned at 5 years old by your own mother?
Many children are removed from their homes suddenly due to having lived in situations of abuse or neglect. These children usually leave with only the clothes they are wearing.
When a grandparent or family member step up to take in a child, they may be on a fixed income and need help with clothing for the child.
When a child is removed from a home that contains a meth lab, all of their toys, stuffed animals, blankets, and clothes (even the ones they are wearing) are destroyed due to contamination. These children leave their homes in hospital gowns, not even with the clothes on their backs.
How Many Children Have We Helped?
- We gave out our first bag of clothes in December 2011.
- In 2011, 4 children.
- In 2012, 82 children.
- In 2013, 190 children.
- In 2014, 321 children.
- In 2015, 358 children as of August 31.
Since we started we have provided clothes for over 950 children.
The ages of the children range from 2 hours to 19 years old.
What Do We Put Into The Bags?
The case workers, when they have a child in need, send us a referral requesting clothing and shoes for the child.
We respond by providing 5 complete outfits, shoes, pajamas, 5 new pairs of socks and underwear, coats and sweaters (seasonal).
In addition I always put in something extra that is age appropriate. For younger children it’s usually a stuffed animal and books, for average age children we give books or sketch pads with colored pencils, and for teenagers we include journals, pens or accessories.
We always pack their things in brightly colored bags with their first name on the outside. When they see the bag, we want them to smile and know it was put together especially for them. Each bag contains a lot of love.
How Do The Children Like Their Bags?
For their privacy and protection we never get to meet or see a picture of the children we help. However, we do receive reports from case workers about their reactions when they receive their bags. Here’s what a few case workers have told us:
- “This little girl was so excited to have dresses, pink clothes, ruffles, sparkly shoes, and bows for her hair… The only clothing she had before this was hand me downs from her brothers.”
- “When the children saw their bags today they got so excited! They said it was just like Christmas!”
- “When I gave the little boy his bag I told him to go try on some of his new clothes for me to see. He came out a few minutes later wearing only the underwear. When I asked where the rest of his clothes were, he said he didn’t want to cover up his new underwear… (he had never had brand new underwear).”
- “When I gave this little boy his bag he ran over to his mother, opened the bag and said… Look mommy… You don’t have to cry anymore… We have new clothes to wear!”
It is very important to us to make sure every child we help feels special. The items we give them are either new or just like new. (ALL underwear and socks ARE new). We want them to smile when they see their bags.
We don’t know ALL of the particulars of their situations, but we do know something has gone terribly wrong for them to be removed from their homes. We know they are children in crisis who deserve to have the best we can possibly give to help them on their journey into safety, stability, restoration, and recovery from whatever they are going through.
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP
Our needs are:
- Boy’s clothing sizes Newborn – Adult Size 2x
- Girl’s clothing sizes Newborn – Adult Size 2x
- Pajamas for Boys and Girls sizes Infant – Adult 2x
- Shoes for Boys and Girls sizes Newborn – Adult
- Diapers for Newborns – Toddler
- Pull-Ups for Boys and Girls 2T to 5T
- Socks for Boys and Girls: Newborn – Adult XL
- Underwear for Boys and Girls: Toddler – Adult 2x
We will gladly accept New and Used Clothing and Shoes. Used Clothing and Shoes need to be in Great Shape; nothing faded, stained, torn, no buttons missing, and all zippers and snaps working.
** Socks and Underwear need to be New, preferably still in the package.
Financial Donations are always appreciated and greatly needed!
We are so very appreciative of all the clothes and shoes that are donated to Miriam’s Basket. However, financial contributions enable us to ‘fill in the empty spaces’ on our racks. Sometimes we receive more requests for certain sizes than we have available, so we have to go out and buy clothes.
Please make checks payable to Miriam’s Basket.
Please contact us to make your donation.
Thank YOU so much. God Bless YOU for your giving.
Linda Grabowski, Founder and Director