Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gifts in Kind

When I joined Twitter earlier this spring, I had no idea what I might be able to use it for. At first, it seemed like many random messages….how might I make sense of this all and actually use this to help children. Slowly, I began to build relationships and with some of the most kind and giving people I have ever met. One of these relationships was with a woman who didn’t live far from me, but her background was in a totally different area…furniture. You might ask….what do helping orphans and furniture have in common…. We found a lot! My friend, Leslie Carothers - @tkpleslie, is a social media consultant for furniture, specifically eco-friendly furniture.

Leslie and I have met in person a few times and always have the most inspiring conversations. The last time we met over pancakes, we talked about our work in our respective areas and then the wheels started churning. How could furniture help orphans? The answer to us both was easy.

Many children in orphanages don’t have their own bed, let alone a desk to study at. We have seen many broken cribs and know that the need for safe furniture for children is huge. Often babies are put two and three to a crib, in worn-out cribs painted with lead paint. Older children also may not have their own bed. We have slowly been working to help the orphanages by buying safe cribs, but the need is so great.

I have learned that many furniture manufacturers that sell furniture in the US and around the world manufacture their furniture in China. As the year ends furniture manufacturers may have excess inventory. We would love to be able to partner with these furniture companies, who have factories in China, and who would want to help improve the lives of orphans. This would be a win-win for these companies, as they could receive publicity, a gift-in-kind letter, and photos and information on the children who have been impacted. Just imagine how the donation of a new bed or a new desk could impact a child who has never had one.

Think of the impact that could be made if US companies who manufacture in China knew that so many orphanages were in need of essential supplies. From safe cribs to warm coats to life saving room heaters and more……we would love to have you help us brainstorm on even more ways to help those who live as orphans.

Do you have ties to any companies manufacturing in China? We would love to hear from you.

Karen Maunu

Changing the Lives of Orphans in China

1 comment:

  1. That is an amazing opportunity, I hope everything works out!