A Neptune, NJ-based charity has been doing great work serving its community:
Madonna House gives away items year-round to anywhere from 3 to 5-thousand needy families in the Monmouth County area who are referred to them by churches, social service agencies, hospitals, clinics, schools, courts, police and the like.
Madonna House follows a good model for charity. They maximize their resources and talent while steadfastly refusing government handouts:
The Madonna House also will not accept federal, state, county or local funding of any kind. [Director Rebecca] Blonski says “everything that we give away or sell has been donated by very kind and generous individuals who cherish and support our work.” There’s also no paid staff. Blonski says they’re an all-volunteer 501.3c charity. She says they are supported by an adjoining thrift shop. “Since I opened up the thrift store, people give us beautiful items and people love to shop thrift stores … but our thrift store is special because it’s so beautiful it looks like a boutique!”
Hurricane Sandy affected thousands of families and Madonna House stepped up to the challenge helping them:
But Christmas is special, according to the bubbly blonde Blonski. She insists that no used items go to children at Christmas. Her goal is to give away brand new clothes and toys to over 1,000 children who’s parents have difficulty providing the basic necessities and don’t have a penny to spare.
She says they don’t just give away one toy. “We try to give every child a hat, glove and scarf set. We give them stocking stuffers. Every child gets a stuffed animal. Every child gets a bigger toy and a smaller toy. Every girl gets a doll. We particularly need African American dolls and we try to give out footballs, basketballs for the boys, games, educational toys are very important for children. So any of those items would be very much appreciated.”
If you are moved to help Madonna House, you can contact them here.