Save the Date! August 7th

SHARE YOUR SPARE to help a local family in need AND an evening of pampering and beauty?!  What could be better?!

We are SO excited to be collecting donations at next month’s  Best Beauty Buys for Moms Awards.  Bring a new or gently used baby/toddler item to share and be entered to win a fabulous prize from our friends at Bump Club and Beyond!  Read below for more info and click here for tickets: http://bestbeautybuysformomsawards.eventbrite.com/.

Can’t wait to see you all there!

Update on Wishlist #2 – Sarah and Londynne


We just caught up with Sarah and Londynne, who we met through the Common Pantry, almost a year ago.  Sarah recently returned to the pantry to donate back 3 huge bags of Londynne’s gently used baby clothing and supplies to help another family.  Thank you Sarah!  We are so touched by your gesture and are so glad to hear that you and Londynne are doing well. Londynne could seriously not be more adorable!  Update from Sarah below:

Hi Amy!  You’re welcome! I am so glad that another family can use the donations! Londynne and I are doing great she will be 1 year old on July 11th. She is crawling now almost walking, and she is really advanced in her daycare, she dances, and talks a lot and loves to read and be read to. She has eight teeth and is just overall happy, which makes me happy. She isn’t to fond of wearing shoes though, haha. I am doing good still working at my job, and I plan on taking one class this fall to proceed with my schooling. Of course just taking one day at a time, and spending as much time as possible with Londynne. We got to go swimming a couple weeks ago she loved it. Nice hearing from you and thank you again for all of your help!!!

 

Wishlist #24 – Thank you Newcomers and Neighbors of Oak Park and River Forest!

Last month, the Newcomers and Neighbors of Oak Park and River Forest held a drive to collect items for Shunyce and her daughter Janelle.  Shunyce is a member of the YWCA’s Young Parents Program, where she attents bi-weekly parenting classes.  She attends college full time, currently in a general studies program, but has dreams of becoming a photographer and maintaining her own studio. While Shunyce is working hard to create a different life for her family, she is having a difficult time buying all of the necessities for her daughter (diapers, wipes, formula, food) on an income of $300 a month.  Needless to say, this leaves very little for herself.

The Newcomers and Neighbors went above and beyond and fulfilled EVERY item and then some on Shunyce’s ‘wish’ list – it was incredible!  We were so lucky to be there to see Shunyce receive what the group had collected on her behalf.  A very big thank you to all the generous donors who made this possible, and  a special thank you to Michelle Moore.  We are certain you have helped to make life a little bit easier for this family.

 

 

Best of Bump Club and Beyond®

We are SO EXCITED to be attending the Best of Bump Club and Beyond on Sunday at the Peggy Notebaert Museum.  It is an ENTIRE day filled with education and information for moms and moms-to-be.  They are inviting the best baby brands in the industry to join them with their products and expertise to talk one on one with YOU!  We are so honored to be a part of another fabulous Bump Club and Beyond event!  If you’re there, please stop by our table to say hello!

 

Wishlist #20 – Update on Sharanda & Paradise

 

Doing good never gets old!  We are constantly re-energized and re-inspired by ALL of the people we have been lucky enough to meet through Share Our Spare…donors, recipients, and board members alike!

We met Sharanda W (21) and her 9 month old daughter Paradise, through our partnership with the YWCA’s Young Parents Program.  Sharanda describes parenthood as a “blessed gift.” In 2010, Sharanda went into early labor at 28 weeks. The baby was quite sick and died soon after being born. Sharanda was devastated but feels that having experienced that kind of loss makes her a better, grateful mom to Paradise, who is very healthy and happy (and always smiling!).  Sharanda, who has been pursuing a nursing degree at Truman College for the last two years, took a break from college when Paradise was born, but does plan to return soon.

We shared Sharanda’s story with donor Christin Unruh, who recently held a drive to support Sharanda and Paradise.  In addition to donating some gently used baby and children’s items, Christin, along with her generous family and friends collected nearly $600 in gift cards for Sharanda so she would be able to purchase brand new items for her daughter.  As a result of the gift cards, one of our very own (amazing, selfless…we could go on!) board members, Molly, took Sharanda shopping to purchase new items for Paradise. Read below for what Molly had to say:

 “I am so LUCKY to have had the opportunity to take Sharanda shopping with all of the gift cards contributed by generous donor Christin Unruh! I picked Sharanda up from New Moms on a beautiful Friday afternoon. Sharanda is not only a participant in the YWCA’s Young Parents Program but also New Moms which is a full time program intended to help women with young children, like Sharanda, with life and parenting skills and career development. Sharanda and I spent a couple hours talking about our children and her plans for the future (becoming a pediatrician!) and of course, shopping! I was so impressed with the items she chose to purchase with her gift cards. For example, she wants to start preparing and freezing food for nine month old Paradise so we purchased a food processor. She wanted to create a safe place in her house for Paradise to play so we bought child-safe floor tiles. We got tons of other useful items and of course couldn’t help ourselves and picked out some adorable summer outfits as well. Shopping is always fun but most of all I enjoyed Sharanda’s company. I am so glad that Share Our Spare was able to help her in some small way!”

A huge thank you to ALL involved in this one!  We’re hopeful that these donations will help ease some of Sharanda’s day-to-day struggles and will allow her to continue focusing on being a wonderful mother to Paradise and pursuing her dreams.

 

Mother’s Day at the YWCA: Bump Club Donations Delivered!

On May 15, just two days after Mother’s day, we had the opportunity to share the donations from the “Moms the Word” event with the girls participating in the YWCA’s Young Parents Program.  We took 3 SUV-loads of donations (courtesy of the Bump Club and Beyond community) and set-up shop at the YWCA.

Needless to say, this evening was really special for all involved!  The girls had so much fun “shopping” and each walked out with at least one HUGE bag of items for their children.  We loved talking with the girls, holding their babies, and helping them pick out the appropriate items for their needs.  Donations included everything from books and bouncy seats to stollers and sippy cups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We wish you all could have been there!  It was such a fantastic evening and we feel so lucky to have been a part of it. Thank you again to Bump Club and Beyond!  You really know how to “share” your “spare!”

Wishlist #23 – Update on Shatona and Jamell

We met Shatona through the YWCA’s Young Parents Program where she attends bi-weekly parenting classes; learning about creating a safe living environment, healthy eating habits, discipline tactics, and parent-child bonding.  Shatona (18) is the mother of a happy, healthy 11 month old son named Jamell.

Shatona did not plan to get pregnant at the age of 17 and had no idea of the challenges  she’d face as a young woman raising a son on a very limited income and with little family support.  Currently, Shatona’s primary source of support is the WIC program, though her grandmother and Jamell’s father help when they can. She often runs out of diapers, baby food and formula.  She is working towards completing her GED anddreams of going to college, becoming a cosmetologist and owning a home, while being the best possible parent and role model for Jamell.

Donor Jennifer Shea hosted a donation drive in honor of her daughter Avery’s birthday.  Jennifer collected a vareity of baby essentials for Jamell including 106 diapers, 240 wipes, 22 dishes and utensils, 2 sippy cups, 5 bottles of baby shampoo, 3 bottles of baby lotion, 1 brand new baby gate, 15 pieces of new clothing, socks, toys, 20 books, a high chair, laundry detergent and various household cleaning supplies.

 

Here are a few words from Jennifer:

 “We wanted to celebrate our daughter’s birthday by giving back to the community.  Share our Spare was a perfect match.  Our friends and family loved this idea and together we were able to collect some wonderful items for Shatona and baby Jammell.  Having the opportunity to personally meet Shatona and deliver the gifts was a great way to complete the process.  We hope that we can continue to share this great experience with our kids for years to come.”

Thank you, Jennifer!  We are so grateful for your generosity and look forward to partnering with you on many more drives in the future. .

Wishlist #22 – Sanchez Family

Maria and Valentin Sanchez were introduced to Share Our Spare through their involvement with the Common Pantry. They have 3 children: Valentin  (7 years), Samantha (4 years) and Edwin (3 years). Maria and Valentin needed assistance with supplies and gear for Samantha and Edwin and were so happy to learn about SOS.

Adam (who just celebrated his 6th birthday) and his family hosted a birthday party drive to collect donations for the Sanchez children.  We helped Adam deliver the donations to Valentin, Samantha and Edwin yesterday and were blown away by everything that was collected!  TWO CAR LOADS of diapers, wipes, toys, books, clothing and gear were donated by Adam and his friends.  Needless to say, the Sanchez family was extremely grateful and overwhelmed by the kindness and support.

 

Adam, we know it wasn’t easy to give up presents on your birthday, but we are very proud of you! Because of your donations, the family will now have extra money available to pay for medical expenses and health insurance for the children.

Thank you for sharing with the Sanchez family!

 

 

Thank You Bump Club!

WOW!  We were blown away by the quantity (and quality!) of donations received at last night’s “Moms the Word” event.  The Bump Club & Beyond community donated everything from diapers and wipes to bouncy seats and strollers.

The new and expectant mothers participating in the YWCA Young Parents program will be thrilled to receive these much needed items.  Stay tuned for photos from our drop-off on May 15.

Thank you Bump Club & Beyond for supporting our organization. We look forward to working with you again soon!

To view photos from the “Moms the Word event” click here.

 

MOMS: Please join us on May 3!

We are thrilled to be participating in this special event with our friends at Bump Club & Beyond and Equinox!

Join us on May 3 (from 6pm – 9pm) at Equinox Lincoln Park for an evening of fitness, beauty and style.  Enjoy full access to the club, delicious food and drinks, mini-spa treatments, a fashion show and thousands of dollars in giveaways just for MOMS!

Help another mother in need by donating a new or very gently-used baby item (think clothing, diapers and other essential supplies) to Share Our Spare™ and be entered into a raffle to win THE ULTIMATE DOWNTOWN DATE NIGHT!  We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day!

For event details or to purchase tickets, please click here.