On July 6th, 2015 Sarah Robinson was not arrested. On that date she could have been. After all, she was caught red-handed shoplifting. Roeland Park Police Officer, Mark Engravalle was called to the scene. He discovered the theft was committed by a single mother of six children who was trying to provide diapers and wipes for her children. Instead of arresting her, the officer paid for diapers, wipes and shoes for the children. The story generated such interest and so many financial and product donations that the Robinson family can stop living in their car and start living in an apartment. It’s a heart-warming story, but it is the story of only one family. Sarah is not the only parent who can’t afford necessities.
Food stamps can be used only for food. It’s easy to understand the reasoning behind that restriction. It’s also easy to see that food is not the only necessity. Toilet paper, soap, feminine hygiene products toothbrushes and toothpaste are also needed. Children who go to school smelling bad because their parents cannot buy soap are very likely to be picked on and bullied.
In the Kansas City area, Teresa Hamilton became aware of one family’s problems. They got food stamps but they needed the sort of things noted above. They felt embarrassed to ask for assistance. They didn’t know where to go or who to ask. Teresa and others pooled their resources to help them. Teresa then concluded there had to be many more families with similar needs. She founded Giving The Basics at www.GivingtheBasics.org
The purpose of the organization is become a central hub for individuals and businesses to donate products and financial resources for the purchase of “human dignity products,” which are them distributed effectively to families and individuals in need.
Organizations such as churches, schools, businesses, health care agencies and community groups put on drives to collect human dignity products. Volunteers sort, count and case the items for distribution. Charities, food banks, women’s shelters, homeless shelters and churches give the donations to the people in need.
According to Michele Orpin, Director of Operations, the organization serves 10,000 people with the help of 150 volunteers and 25 donors a month. Obviously, the organization is very well organized and efficient. When a church I belong to volunteered to help, Teresa and Michelle put twenty of us to work for two and a half hours. There is a lot to do and they do it well.
Click below on the video link to learn more!