Celebration of #SisterSupplies

Remember how The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project was collecting supplies for Women’s History Month and I posted a challenge to gather some supplies? Well, I have to admit, I was slightly disappointed that Mr. Burgher was the only one to pull in supplies in my effort to fill up the car, but I was super excited that he gathered up 250 supplies (filling 5 tote bags) for us to take to the end of the month celebration at our favorite restaurant, Las Velas.

But, those totes added to others who took on the challenge, and celebrate we did! There were cookies, totes, authentic Mexican dishes, raffles, and of course, Sister Supplies! The kids were a fun time, ‘lil Man dancing from the moment we stepped in the door (and only stopping when he was eating some chips and salsa) and A drawing the raffle tickets. Both highly enjoyed Burgh Baby’s (not) Eat n’ Park Cookies, each eating at least 3, then screaming in laughter all the way home.

All in all, it was a successful evening for The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project and On the Spot, as well as a fun time for our family. It’s one of the ways we “minister” to our community, our “Unless”.

Take Time for “The Time” #SisterSupplies #BlogSwarm

Friends, there is a harsh reality in the world around us. People living in poverty, unable to provide clothing, food, or shelter (basic needs) for their families. This shouldn’t be news to any of us, but today, I want to call attention to a special situation that is the harsh reality of poverty. Today, I am teaming up with a number of other local bloggers in a #BlogSwarm and we are going to bring it to you. This isn’t your typical ‘lil Burghers topic, but I urge you to listen.

As you know, my family and I strive to give back when we can, and we are involved in the Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project‘s efforts to provide food pantry patrons with sturdy tote bags to carry their food home in. Each month, the Project has been focusing on a partnership with causes, and this month is no different. This month, Women’s History Month, the Tote Bag Project has teamed up with On the Spot for a drive of (Tote Bags) and menstrual products for women across our county, and you can read more about it here.

Did you know?
* We’ve all seen it–people laughing at the embarrassed dad or brother who has to go and get the “time of the month” supplies from the local pharmacy. Guess what? It’s real and it happens. And, it doesn’t happen. It’s not a laughing matter.
* Some families cannot afford to purchase menstrual supplies such as pads and tampons because their what money they have goes to covering the bills. SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) benefits have to go elsewhere (like…buying food) and do not cover for these basic need products.
* One tote bag of menstrual products will last a woman 6 months.
* This impacts your neighbors…and who knows. One day it could impact you.

You might wonder, why in the world would I want to dedicate a blog post to this cause? Well, let me tell you, I’ve seen it all first hand. When my dad was a pastor in Fayette County, we all volunteered at the Food Bank and I got to see the impact of women getting supplies such as pads and tampons–and these women were grateful that their needs were met. Come to think of it, being a pastor isn’t the world’s highest paying job, and I am pretty certain that my first few years of supplies were “made possible by” the Food Bank, too. (There are some things you don’t realize as a kid–I was too busy understanding that I had lights, heat, and a full belly to understand that my parents had to work hard to make those ends meet and that really, I didn’t have much more than the people I was “serving”. Isn’t God awesome how he makes us see only what we need to?)

Today, I urge you to do what you can to help this cause. Because Mr. Burgher and I love to coupon, we’ve been building up quite a stash of pads, liners, and tampons. But, we’d love to add more to the cause. Consider this–go to your local store of choice and pick up a pack (or two) of each. Drop them by our house, at my desk, or at my Grandma’s. We’ll gather them up and deliver them to the Tote Bag Project and On the Spot on your behalf. Or–let me know if you’d like us to do the shopping for you. While you’re at it, send over a few totes you aren’t using. (The Project could really use them.)

I really want to fill the car up with Sister Supplies for this worthy cause, but I can’t do it alone. Are you with me?

Would You Consider This?

Dear Friends,

One of the organizations close to the ‘lil Burghers heart could use your help. With just a little over a month to go before the end of the year, The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project needs about 2,000 Tote Bags to reach the 10,000 mark for the year.

Can you help? Why, YES YOU CAN! Check out this incentive to win some great prizes, and all you need to do is set a goal to bring in 25 tote bags by December 22.

I know you, and I know you have it in you. Now go out there, and do good things.

‘lil Burghers

Do Unto Others

…as you would have done to you.

Recently, Mr. Burgher, our ‘lil Burghers, and I became #smhero (Social Media [super]Heroes) when we helped out with The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project. I was charged with the challenge of taking a Tote Bag and filling it with food when I visited the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for the #BlogMob. This was an easy task, but we knew we had to do more.

First, we decided to have a Tote Bag Drive for ‘lil Miss A’s birthday. We asked that our family and friends bring their gifts in a reusable grocery tote bag instead of worrying about wrapping them or bringing a gift bag (because I honestly have a ton to “regift” in my stockpile).

We got a few questions like, “are you sure that you just want the gift thrown in a boring brown bag”, and the answer (obviously) was “YES!”. Our peoples came through amazingly–some even brought extras–and we ended up with 20 tote bags to donate to the project. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We will definitely continue this tradition for future parties.

Here are the bags that she got—we missed the boat on getting a pic with her and the bags before we turned them in, oops!

Then, I took the challenge to my office and asked my immediate co-workers to bring in totes. We’re working on expanding it to our department (and maybe the entire corporate office), but just through a week or two, we collected 20 bags.

I still needed to fill up my #smhero (Social Media Hero) tote with food for the Food Bank, so I gathered that together. Mr. Burgher was not happy with what I came up with, and he took a handful of bags from ‘lil Miss A’s party and filled them with goodies (toothpaste, pads, body wash, razors, etc) from his couponing trips.

We set up time to do the drop off after we participated in the Heart Walk. While we were there, I kept noticing people with totes from a vendor and I hoped we’d be able to connect with them and get some of their totes to add to the 41 we had to drop off. When I approached them, I was given 12 bags; however, Mr. Burgher noticed that there were still boxes of them behind the tent. Before we left the parking lot, he ran over to ask a different person if they would consider giving an entire box of 100 bags—they said yes! All we had to do was ask.

So, we met up and dropped off 153 tote bags, some filled with food for the Project. The good feeling hasn’t worn off yet! You can check out the incredible story that was on the Tote Bag Project’s website here.

Have we inspired you yet? I sure hope so! If you have reusable canvas grocery bags (aka tote bags) and you would like to donate them to the Project, either check out their site or get in touch with me. They’ve been able to donate over 7,000 bags to those who need them, and the potential to do more is huge. If all of you donated just one bag, we could make a difference in the lives of many. When I visited the Food Bank, I saw many people carrying their food in a multitude of containers (luggage, laundry baskets, pockets) and I know we can do better. Are you with us?