#KeepingFamiliesTogether Update (Part 1)

Since the news hit on June 21st that migrant children, separated from their families at the US border, were sent to East Harlem, Bundles of Joy has been working tirelessly.  With the help of our generous donors and volunteers, we've delivered over $4,500 in goods, and raised a total of $7,000 thus far. That's pretty incredible!! We still have funds slated for this cause, but are waiting to see where it's most needed. Right now, I can assure you -- the children we are working with have what they need. 

I'll back up just a bit and tell you how we jumped into action and give you a bit of an update on our current work. 

Back to June 21, when the kids arrived in New York. I had a feeling that Mark Levine's office wasn't prepared to accept physical donations for long and before morning, he had to put a hold on all physical donations, asking people to donate funds instead. Bundles of Joy continued to accept physical items because we were lucky enough to work directly with the Abbott House, a foster care agency serving Westchester and NYC. Over 50 kids were placed with them in their TRC program. This program welcomes children entering the United States without a legal guardian. They provide short and long-term care, including room and board, case management, counseling, medical and educational services. I happened to call at the right time to catch the Chief Development Officer and she was thrilled to hear from us because of our deep understanding of what kids really need. And just like that, we became partners in caring for over 50 children. We started off emailing and then that turned into texting ideas and brainstorming how we can best serve these kids. 

I spent all weekend opening boxes and sorting items. If you watched IG stories you would have seen USPS back up into our driveway because he had over 40 heavy packages! One supermom who follows me on Instagram wanted to help so I asked her to find inexpensive flip flops. BOY, did she deliver! She learned that Old Navy was having a $1 flip flop sale that next morning (Saturday) so she rounded up 7 of her friends to shop them in various sizes. This lady went above and beyond and I will never forget her. Melanie, thank you. 

My mom heard how tired and overwhelmed I was and decided to make an emergency trip to Bronxville with my dad to help me. I don't think I would have survived without her. Thank you, mom and dad. Also, thank you Steve and Levin ...my two delivery men (who I am sure don't follow me on IG or my attempt at blogging) who broke their backs carrying very heavy bath wash, wipes, and diapers.  

We were the VERY first organization to deliver items on that Monday morning. We reached them even before Levine's office, who, let's face it, has WAY more resources at his fingertips than little old me.  I recruited mom friends of mine who were INSANELY kind to give up their time and deliver car loads of items. These moms have kids of their own at home to take care of and I am eternally grateful that people want to help. These particular moms are true supermoms. Thank you. 

Then, we made another delivery on Wednesday thanks to a group of supermoms in Scarsdale. An old camp friend of mine saw what we were doing on Facebook and asked to help -- be careful of what you ask for, because I will put you to work. She rounded up a group of awesome moms who collected items, bought items and then delivered them to the kids. They ordered Spanish books, games, activities, stuffed animals and fun things to make them feel JOY during this separation. 

So, all this is to say THANK YOU to the MANY MANY MANY of you who have donated items, contributed funds, asked to help, offered time, drove miles to deliver goods, hired babysitters so you could spend time with us, etc. I wish I could call out each and every single one of you, but I can't. I saved all of your notes from the Amazon registry and many of you wrote such nice and encouraging things to me. Thank you.