There are moments in the Stripey Stork journey that will stay with me. Moments that come to mind when life is hectic and I question why I started all of this when I have two pre-schoolers keeping me busy day and (very often) night. Times that make you think “This is all worthwhile. Keep going.”
Usually these moments are when I hear about the difference the donations have made to a particular Mum or child; or when we receive a special thank you message. But there is one moment that also stands out for another reason. A moment where I realised Stripey Stork had the support of the wider community.
When we started Stripey Stork, and ran our pilot last autumn, we didn’t do any advertising. All donations came from our own homes or from friends, neighbours and family. We got a steady stream of items and were able to test our processes and prove there was a need for the service by providing items to 40 local families in need.
In early 2014 we started to spread the word so set up our Facebook page and scheduled our first Donation Station on January 26th. It was quite an occasion to us and I’ll admit I felt very nervous setting up the tables in the hall – would anyone come? Would people really just give us the items their family had grown out of? Were we going to feel silly for hiring a hall and recruiting volunteers when there were no donations? Were we crazy…!?
Just as the final table was set up a friendly looking guy walked in – “Is this the Stripey Stork Donation Station?” he asked. “We’re about to have some building work done at home and have had a clear our – I’ve got a boot full of stuff if you want it.” He proceeded to fill a corner of the room with items that we had on our waiting list – stair gates and a fireguard – and a whole host of other items. As he was carrying them in I couldn’t hide my delight; of course people were going to support us! And support us they have – another 30 families donated at that event alone, and we couldn’t be happier with how our concept had been received and the generous support we’ve had ever since.
A successful first Donation Station.
Well that first visitor was Bryn, and since then Bryn and his family have continued to donate items as their family no longer needs them.
I was delighted therefore when Bryn got in touch and said that he’d signed up to Run Reigate and that he’d like to raise for funds for Stripey Stork – vital funds we will use to buy items like new mattresses for pre-loved cots so that babies and children have safe, clean beds to sleep in.
I’ve taken these words directly from Bryn’s fund raising page as to why he has chosen to support us:
“If you’re going to run you need a goal… apparently!
Well here goes…
I will be running the Run Reigate Half Marathon on 21st September 2014 and in doing so will be attempting to raise money for Stripey Stork.
Anyone who has children wants the best for them, and having tried to give them everything that they need doesn’t then want to throw those things away with all the memories that they now contain so will normally pass them onto family and friends, but what happens when you don’t know anyone in need?
That is where Stripey Stork comes in, taking those ‘things’ and giving them to families who aren’t able to give their children everything that they deserve due to circumstances beyond their control.
This ‘extended family’ support to strangers was something that my mum both received and gave while I was young and I am therefore running Reigate in her memory knowing that she would have been an ardent supporter.
Please give generously because 13.1 miles looks like a pretty long way on the map!”
We are so pleased that Bryn has joined Team Stork and encourage you to visit his page and donate. I’m sure it will help motivate him as he trains for the race, and of course it will make a massive difference to the work we can do to help local families in need.
And if you would like to join Team Stork and run for us please get in touch.
Good luck Bryn, and everyone who is planning to Run Reigate!