Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pay It Forward Challenge and Giveaway from Stop and Shop

So far in 2015, Stop & Shop has donated over $12 million and 300,000 holiday meals to hunger relief organizations and to those in need. They kicked off the 2015 holiday season by encouraging their neighbors to give back and create a stronger community throughout New England. By learning more about Stop & Shop’s commitment to being a better neighbor, they hope customers and families will be encouraged to bring back random acts of kindness and turn neighbors into friends, and neighborhoods into communities. Stop and Shop reached out to me to see if I would like to be a part of their Pay It Forward Challenge. They offered me a Stop and Shop gift card to use in any way that I saw fit to help benefit my local community. So cool, right?

I took this opportunity to support LYNN Ministries which stands for Love Your Neighbor Now. LYNN Ministries assists the local homeless population in the Foxboro/Attleboro/Brockton area. Each month, they deliver a hot meal, fresh fruit, fresh baked items, clothing, blankets, and personal care items to those without a permanent home. They also help facilitate a connection to resources, local churches, and provide one of the best gifts of all - hope.

I reached out to Debbie Snow, who runs the organization along with her husband, to see how Stop and Shop's donation might be able to assist them best. I know with charities they sometimes have an abundance of one item but are really low on others so I wanted to make sure that our donation was truly useful at this time. Debbie agreed to meet up with me and the kids after school at Stop and Shop (she must be a saint, right?) in order to tell us more about the organization and help us pick out items. The kids were really excited to be a part of the purchase and donation. 

We learned that LYNN Ministries hands out 150 baggies each month with necessary toiletries and supplies for the homeless. These individuals and families do not have a permanent place to put their things so travel sized items are what are needed most. Currently, the ministry was very low on toothpaste so we were able to pick up a bunch for them.
The kids were fascinated to hear that some people live in tents (year round) so Debbie was kind enough to share this photo with me of one of her friend's homes. I say friend's home because that is exactly what the people she supports are to Debbie - her friends.

The picture really helps put it in perspective.
LYNN Ministries also provides a meal each month that they cook fresh, package up in individual containers, and deliver to those in need. We were able to purchase pork for them to serve at their holiday meal. The money they save from not having to purchase the meat themselves, they will now put towards winter coats, gloves, and socks. I loved hearing how Stop and Shop's donation of toiletries and meat would then have a trigger effect of allowing them to purchase other items that are desperately needed.

Here we are heading to the check out - bunny ears and all!
Debbie and John Snow with the donations that we purchased courtesy of Stop and Shop's generosity (WOW!!)
If you are interested in learning more about how you might be able to help, you can check out the supply list of items that LYNN Ministries is in need of (year round) HERE. If you are local to Foxboro, MA, I'd be happy to help coordinate with you a pick up/drop off of any donations. This really is such a great, hands on ministry where donations go directly to those in need.

Feeling touched and moved? Awesome, because it's your turn! I am giving away a $50 Stop and Shop gift card so that YOU can help pay it forward this holiday season. You can choose to spend the gift card on however you see fit - donating to your local food bank, buying toys/books for children in need, the list is endless! Once you do spend your money, we would love for you to share your donation story with others so that they might be inspired to do the same. Share your story and photo using the hashtag #PayItForwardwithSS on Facebook, Instagram, etc so that we can all enjoy them!

Best of luck - I can't wait to hear how you're sharing the love this holiday season!

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