Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Florence Crittenton

Volunteering is something that a lot of people would like to do more of and some of you may have even named that one of your New Years resolutions.  I did!  The problem is, its hard to find the right place to lend your help and it can be even harder to find the time in which to do it.  I stumbled across a volunteering opportunity a couple of years ago and it has been the best experience.  I was looking for a place to donate a stroller and a friend told me about Florence Crittenton Services.  FCS is a comprehensive residential pregnancy program that provides a full range of services for single, pregnant adolescents.  These services include health and prenatal care, education, adoption programs, parenting skills, life skills, scholarships, counseling, and family planning.  In addition to these services FCS has expanded the program to include an on-site aftercare program, Sarah's House.  This is a program for single adolescent girls ages 14-18 who are in the custody of the Department of Social Services and parenting a child or children.  It provides numerous resources and support for these young mothers.  

Sarah's House is where I have volunteered specifically and I have been so impressed with the program as well as the mothers in which it is helping.  Both programs welcome volunteers whether it be as a one-time gig or an ongoing relationship.  This year they are really focusing their efforts to establishing long-term connections in the community.  They especially want to foster relationships between mothers.  What drew me to this place is

that no matter how different our circumstances at the end of the day we are all mothers.  I kept thinking about how hard it is to do the job of parenting even when I am blessed to have the necessities.  These girls do not always have those things and they are doing it on their own. I just cannot imagine.  I tried to think of something I could offer these girls that they would not normally have and the first thing that came to mind were pictures.  I knew that cameras may not be a luxury item they own and expensive portrait sessions were probably out of the question.  My most prized possessions are my albums with all of the memories of my children since the day they were born.  I wanted the mothers at Sarah's House to have the same.

I am by NO MEANS a photographer but I have a decent camera and I knew I could get some casual, candid shots.  The day I arrived for our first "shoot," I knew immediately that it was something I would do again and again.  All of the moms were running around getting beautified and the kids loved seeing a new face.  Watching the moms primp and feel special made me so glad I had taken the small time out of my life to volunteer.  It also gave me time to spend with these moms and their kids and learn more about their lives.  It was such a tiny thing to do but I left feeling like a million bucks.  I have committed to going about 3 times a year and my hope is that I will help these girls capture the priceless moments that go by all too quickly.

I cannot think of a better place for moms to volunteer.  There is so much that you could offer these girls whether it be a specific skill or just the opportunity to model motherhood for them.  Florence Crittenton Services and Sarah's House have provided such a great experience for me that I am making an official and permanent tab for them here on Momsie.  I will be working with them throughout the year to help raise awareness, put on fundraisers, and help connect mothers to mothers.  I will update you all on events, needs, and information regularly.  Please make sure to visit their link so that you can get involved...they have a newsletter in which you can subscribe and they are also on Facebook.


Book Drive (March)

Happy Birthday Dr.Suess!!

Today is the great author's birthday!  Can you imagine childhood without The Grinch, The Cat in the Hat, or all of his crazy characters and words??  March is National Reading Month in honor of the big guy's birthday!  I wish I could carve out more time for reading these days but my books are usually reserved for beach trips.  I do read to my kids though and they love the bedtime routine.  I have boxes and boxes of books that I have accumulated from teaching back in the day, birthdays, and showers.  I never even think about owning all of these books but there are families that can't afford this type of luxury.  I hate the thought of any kid that doesn't get to enjoy being read to before bed.  I can't imagine not being able to enjoy those little moments just because we didn't own books.  But that is a reality for families that have to stretch their dollars in other ways.  

The mothers and children that live in Sarah's House do not have many books to enjoy and this is just unnecessary!  Although there are many great donations made to Florence Crittenton Services, books are usually not included.  I know that through all of you loving and generous moms we can help them build a library for their kids.  Not only will this provide entertainment and educational value to their day, it will provide the mothers with a chance to bond with their kids.  

This will be such an easy way for you all to give back a little and to help these younger mothers learn to do the things we often take for granted.  Momsie has found some great local businesses the help collect the books throughout the month of March.  I am hoping to add even more locations in the next few days.  If you are a business owner and are willing to place a collection box in your establishment please contact me at momsiecharlotte@gmail.com.  There are no further requirements other than allowing us to leave a box in your business for this month.  

The next time you clean your child's room set a few of their gently-used books to the side for donation or maybe when you are grabbing a couple of things at Target you can pick up a book or two.  Stop by Little Lollipops Childrens Consignment Boutique in Matthews and while you load up on cute spring clothes toss in a couple of books to donate.  There will be a box right in the store so you can shop then leave your book donation...simple as pie!  Or how about taking your kids over to Cotswold Toys & Co. to play.  While there have your kids get in the charitable spirit by picking out some of their favorite books to purchase for the Sarah's House residents.  You can leave them in the collection box on your way out!

Book drive donation locations:
Little Lollipops Childrens Consignment Boutique
11014-B Monroe Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Cotswold Toys & Co.
242 South Sharon Amity Road
Charlotte, NC 28211-2801
Fabo Cafe
2820 Selwyn Ave
Charlotte 28209

November through April 2011: Send flowers, give hope! Local supporter Fashion Flowers and Carolina's Favorite Gift Basket will donate 20% or all local orders to Florence Crittenton Services from November 1 through April 30. To place an order, call 704-375-8429 or visit Fashion Flowers online. Please note that this offer applies only to local orders, not out-of-town or FTD orders. This promotion cannot be combined with other coupons or offers.

2011 Annual Plant Sale!
Join the Florence Crittenton Services Auxiliary
as we raise funds for scholarships for
current and past residents. 

Pre-Order Only

Follow this link for easy ordering!

The pick up date for your pre-ordered plants is 
Friday, April 8th from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the front entrance of FCS.

Cash or checks, payable to FCS Auxiliary, are accepted. Payment and order form may be dropped off at or mailed to 1300 Blythe Blvd. Charlotte NC 28203.

Ordering and Payment Deadline:
March 16, 2011
If you have questions, please contact 
Helen Gounis at 704-535-8566.
To learn more about FCS, please visit www.fcsnc.org.


Save the Date!
Join Florence Crittenton Services
as we celebrate health and hope
at our Annual Luncheon

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Myers Park United Methodist Church
1501 Queens Road

11:15 - Registration and Visiting
Noon - Luncheon Program

There is no cost to attend, but registration is appreciated.
Please RSVP online, to Katie Rozycki or by calling 704-372-4663.

Table Captains and Sponsors welcomed!
For more information, contact Katie


Here is an on-going list of resident and program needs.  Always check here for updates
to this list as well as other opportunities to give.

Mother/Child Program
  • New car seats
  • Bassinets & cribs
  • Strollers
  • High chairs
  • Enfamil formula
  • Diapers (all sizes)
  • Laundry detergent
  • Stain remover gels 
  • Digital thermometers & sleeves
  • Eucerin bath soap
  • Eucerin moisturizing cream
  • Baby wash, shampoo & lotion 
  • Rubber infant bath toys
  • Infant Ora-gel teething ointment
  • Infant Tylenol & Motrin 
  • Infant nasal aspirators
  • Infant nail clippers
  • Infant toothbrushes 
  • Infant Ora-gel toothpaste
  • Infant wash cloths & bath towels
  • Crib bedding
  • Infant walkers
  • Baby tubs
  • Infant videos, books & toys
  • Puzzles and games
Maternity & PALS Programs
  • Twin size sheets
  • Twin size blankets
  • Pillows (new, please)
  • Laundry detergent
  • Baby items & clothing
  • Duffle bags & suitcases 
  • Alarm clocks
  • Deodorant & soap
  • Laundry baskets
  • Hair care products for all textures
  • Body wash 
  • Toothpaste & toothbrushes
  • Womens and maternity clothes 
  • Bathing suits, shoes & outerwear 
  • PG-13 movies 
  • School supplies
  • Games
  • Journals 
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Large plastic cups
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Key lanyards
  • Knitting & crochet supplies
  • Craft & scrapbook supplies
  • Stamps & all-occasion cards


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