Destiny Ministries collecting shoes, socks, underwear for needy kids
Destiny Ministries of Southwest Florida is seeking the community’s help with donations of new shoes, socks and underwear before July 22, so they can be donated, before the first day of school, to children who live at Sabal Palms Housing.
The ministry, which began four years ago, was started by the Rev. Rebecca Hines and her family. The Cape Coral non-profit organization helps the most vulnerable population of infants, toddlers, disabled teens, special needs children and elderly.
Since its inception, the organization has distributed more than 1 million diapers, clothing, baby beds, wheelchairs, strollers, car seats, toys, maternity clothing, medical supplies, bed-side toilets and shower chairs throughout the community. In addition, 30,000 bottles of lotion, 10,000 bottles of Pedialyte formula and 15,000 bottles of pre-natal vitamins have also been distributed.
Since the ministry began, it has distributed $200,000 worth of products to help mothers and their babies.
Hines is typically contacted by United Way when there are people in need.
Not to long ago Hines said she helped a young mother-to-be at Sabal Palm Apartment who lost all of her things to a fire. She was able to replenish a good portion of items she needed for her and the baby.
“When a situation comes up and we get a call from United Way, we try to help these people with what they need, so they can take care of their baby, that is an important thing,” Hines said.
She said after she helped the young mother, she talked with other residents of that community and found out how financially challenged the parents are. The conversations later lead to Hines understanding that the parents did not have enough money to provide their children with items for the first day of school.
Hines said she and her husband raised eight children, so understands how difficult it can be to get children ready for school.
She said her heart went out to them, which lead her to starting a donation drive to collect new socks, shoes and underwear for children who live in the complex and are between the ages of 5-12.
“They need to have something new on the first day of school,” Hines said.
After meeting with the manager of Sabal Palms Housing, they found 195 children who were in need of assistance. Hines said so far they have 84 children who preregistered for help.
Although only 84 have preregistered, Hines said she would like to provide all 195 kids with new shoes, socks and underwear.
In order for Hines to collect enough donations for the children, she planned two “Stuff the Truck” events in Fort Myers to provide individuals with the opportunity to drop off items for the cause.
The first “Stuff the Truck” event was held Friday at Jet Scape in Fort Myers, which provided 70 new shoes from Laces of Love, an organization out of Naples, around noon.
On Friday, Hines said they received a donation of 100,000 diapers from Huggies, which made the “Stuff the Truck” event shorter because they had to unload the truck and put the diapers into storage for those who need the assistance.
She said the donations will help the organization to provide diapers to low income families who qualify for the Women Infants and Children federal grant program.
The second “Stuff the Truck” event will be held today in Fort Myers at Once Upon A Child, 11800 S. Cleveland Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“I only have a week,” she said about collecting donations. “I am asking for a miracle. I want all 195 kids to have new shoes, socks and undies. I don’t want one of those kids to be left behind on the first day of school.”
The donations of new shoes, socks and underwear can also be dropped off all next week in Cape Coral at Arthur Printing, 1518 S.E. 46th Lane, and at RE/MAX Realty, 2326 Del Prado Blvd.
Other locations accepting donations next week in Lee County include Sign & Design, 960 Pondella, North Fort Myers; SunKiss Tanning, 12901 McGregor Blvd., in Fort Myers; Anderson/Patterson Cremation & Funeral, 3654 Palm Beach, Fort Myers; Jet Scape, 4102 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers; and Once Upon A Child, 11800 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers.
The donated shoes, socks and underwear will be placed into paper bags that Publix donated to the cause, which will have each child’s name written on the outside. The bags will be distributed on July 22 to all of the children.
For information, call 239-573-7573 or visit www.destinydiaperbank.com.