Project Night Night

This post is a little out of the ordinary for my blog, but it is something that is near and dear to my heart. When you were a child, did you have a favorite stuffed animal? Did you carry it with you everywhere? Maybe you had a book that you read every night before bed, or perhaps it was a blanky that was never washed.  I had a stuffed bear, named Hubert, who wore a very sophisticated bowtie and a vest my grandmother had made for him.  I also had the most precious doll, Annie. Obviously, the two were the best of friends. I adored Hubert and Annie, and the two of them accompanied me on many family trips, stormy nights, and days with the babysitter. What if you were a child that didn't have a stuffed animal or doll to keep you company? No one read you a bedtime story, and you couldn't cuddle up with your favorite blanket when you were cold.  So many children in the United States and around the world don't have that comfort.  That's what Project Night Night seeks to rectify. Homeless families can't predict their situations, but having a constant in their child's life can help create a routine and provide a security they may not currently have in their lives. I honestly can't imagine the kind of upheaval these children experience, especially in such formative years of their lives.  I would have thrown a fit if I didn't have my bear with me at bedtime. My parents read to me regularly, and I have maintained that love of reading. I am so thankful to have grown up with that kind of love and safety, so it is just unimaginable that not all children do.

Project Night Night collects and distributes bags all over the nation. The Project Night Night bags all include a (new) blanket, stuffed animal (or two), and a book. The bags can be tagged, so that each child receives a book that is age appropriate.  I love that PNN offers so many options to help out! You can donate money directly, you can make your own bags and send them to a PNN location, or you can make bags and distribute them in your own area! Whatever suits you and your community is the best option.  While I love that the each bag contains a blanket and stuffed animal, I believe the book is the most crucial part. Many families may not have access to books to encourage learning to read, which could stunt educational growth.  Fostering a love for reading and learning is so vital for every generation.

In my community, we have one of the highest rates of child homelessness in the state. When I read that, I was floored.  My city is absolutely beautiful...at least the parts I had visited.  I wasn't aware that there were areas that consisted of entirely government housing and had exceedingly high crime rates. I had never seen any homeless people walking around, certainly not any children. I didn't even know if we had any  homeless shelters.  I soon found out there are an alarming amount of homeless shelters for all ages and sexes.  I only wish there weren't so many, because that would mean more individuals are living a comfortable life.  When I started learning more about the hidden secrets of my community, I discovered Project Night Night.

Over the course of a three or four months, I collected donations of money, blankets, books, and stuffed animals. I love seeing the generosity of people who are just as concerned about the lives of others.  It was such a joy to put together the bags. I was able to pick and choose the perfect blanket to go with each book and animal. I certainly enjoyed flipping through some of my childhood favorites! And, I can't deny I didn't spend a little too much time stroking the stuffed animals.  So. Soft.  With the help of my local church and friends, we were able to make TWENTY bags! I was quite pleased with the amount, though it will hardly make a dent. I donated the bags to a women and children center that had a large number of affiliations, because I felt they could best distribute them. Y'all. They were so grateful. I thought that these centers would receive so many donations that is might be commonplace. I could not believe how much they thanked me, especially when I felt I had done so little.  I only wish I could have seen the face of the children who received those bags.

I definitely endorse this organization, and it so easy to give with them. Hop on over to their site, Project Night Night, and check it out! What causes are near and dear to you? Tell me about any of the projects you've done! I always love hearing about the work others do to give back! Have a most happy week, lovelies.