Some of you who frequent my blog know that I’m a volunteer with CCACL, Christian Community Action Charity League. A very fun, but serious minded, goal oriented and diligent organization dedicated to helping CCA administer to the needs of under privileged children as well as families who are just facing unexpected financial hardships in this difficult economy.
We’re all growing weary of the economic challenges we are facing today, but none more than those who are hardest hit and most directly affected to the very core of their finances – which in turn affects their children and every part of their lives. In addition to the impoverished there are a surprising number of families in need of services at CCA that never thought they would see such a day.
For all of these families CCA offers a wonderful Back To School program for their children with a store filled with donations of new clothing, backpacks and more. All items are brand new, nothing used, which is important to CCA for this special event. Families are welcomed into the store with these cheerful painted signs with images of schools, buses, etc.
Their large conference/training room gets a complete makeover and is converted into a mini department store where parents can bring the children to “shop” for school clothes. Each child gets a backpack, tennis shoes, 2 pair of jeans and 2 shirts, or 2 complete uniforms if their school requires uniforms. They also offer bonus points for underwear, socks, jewelry, hair products, purses and belts.(Payment is not required, but families must have already qualified and be following guidelines set forth by CCA.) These families are sincerely working hard to better their situation.
Lots of generous donations come in to try and help meet the needs of the community, but more is always needed.
Volunteers do their best to try and make the store presentable and like a “real store”. Used racks and shelves are put together to display items.
A make-shift check out stand is created and a volunteer rings up the “purchases” (although no money exchanges hands) and makes sure each child gets everything they are supposed to.
The little make shift store actually looks very nice.
With the generous donations we are able to take care of most of the kids sizes. However, “cool” teen shirts and jackets are always a need.
Volunteers like the girl seen here in the blue take each parent and their child around the store to help them pick out all the articles on the list.
Backpacks are always serious business for the little ones. They ponder and ponder and change their minds, trying on one, then another until finally the perfect color and style is chosen. Precious!
More “happy” signs greet them as they continue to shop.
Here are the bins of underwear, socks and some miscellaneous items.
The tennis shoes. You can see some of the sizes go before others. There are usually people constantly working in the back to keep stocking the floor with what we have on hand.
Sadly the girl’s accessories were almost non-existent. One of my little shoppers looked at me with her sweet, shy grin and asked if there was a way she could please get a purse. Unfortunately this sad little rack was all we had to offer. Nothing a little nine or ten year old could use. Tugs at the heartstrings! These precious little angels want to go to school feeling pretty and proud just like other, more fortunate children do. CCA tries to provide them with that and their much deserved dignity. I hated to tell her we had nothing to offer at this time.
Here’s the jewelry display. Again not much to offer. Yes, the clothing is more important (and we are so grateful for these donations!!), but how fun is it for little girls and teenage girls to have jewelry to pretty themselves up with? And how sad is it that this is all we had to offer. If you have a heart for these children consider donating these extra items to CCA or your own local charity.
This was all we had in the way of hair care, too. Granted the store had been open a while and things had gotten a bit picked over, but there are still so many more children to take care of. Wouldn’t it be nice to donate these inexpensive items so a little girl can feel pretty and good about herself????? Just throwin’ that out there!
The school uniform section – khaki and navy in all sizes. With our generous donations we were able to meet most all of these needs.
Our make-shift dressing rooms. One little five year old girl bounced out of the dressing room with a giant smile on her face to show me each of her outfits. Her mother said she insisted on modeling for me so I could see how pretty she looked. So precious! Again…….those heartstrings!
My friend, Susan, who is the founder of the charity league working with me at the store.
You can see what a wonderful organization this is and what an amazing job they do to help the community. If you’d like to learn more about it, volunteer or make donations please contact CCA at www.ccahelps.org. Find the joy and satisfaction of “decorating a child’s life”!