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Not Teddy Bears

Who doesn’t love teddy bears? They are usually cute, cuddly and come in all shapes and sizes. But are they what a non-profit needs?

In December I read a blog on Inspiring Generosity
written by Ken Mueller titled, Give Nonprofits What They Need (Not Teddy Bears). This was posted after the tragic school shooting in Newtown, CT and shared the story of one woman in her desire to reach out and help, set a goal of collecting and sending one million teddy bears to the hurting community.  Yes, ONE MILLION teddy bears for a town with the population of approximately 28,000.

Mueller writes, “Too often, particularly in light of a tragedy, we let our emotions and good intentions dictate our giving. We see someone in need, and rather than ask them what would help them the most, we act. But our actions, while well-intentioned, might not actually help the problem.”  After volunteering, and then working at A Woman’s Place (AWP) for almost four years I know exactly how true that statement is, but prior to that I like many others in our community might have also collected teddy bears.  The blog then continues and gives four very important and needed alternatives, Cash First, Donations of Goods, In-Kind Donations and Volunteering.  So when we ask ourselves the question how can we help AWP and other non-profits, shouldn’t it be about the people we’re trying to help, in the way they need the help? The answer should be yes.

Here are three ways AWP needs your help:

And since I love quotes and tend to share them with others when I feel they are appropriate I will end with this one from Paul Shane Spear:

“As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.”

Jacalyn A. Hartzell
Communications Manager

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