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Thread: Help for abused children

  1. #1
    Senior Member kathome's Avatar
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    I am the secretary for the Guardians of the Children which is a non profit group of motorcycle riders (NOT a club full of the bad guys that most people think of when thinking about motorcycle riders) who care deeply about helping abused children.

    Most commonly, we get a call from either CPS (Child Protective Services) or Crime Victims that there is a child who has been removed from their current living situation due to physical and/or emotional abuse. All of our current cases are of young, ages 6 month to 10 years, children who have been sexually abused, raped or severely beaten. The legal guardian(s) of the child often need to feel safe from the perpetrator who sometimes makes threatening calls, drive-bys etc. Also, when attending court the families of the perps will stand outside the Courthouse and make verbal threats and be verbally abusive to the "new" family. Funny how the perps families are always intimidated when they see motorcycle riders surrounding the "new families". We just show up and they pretty much just leave. They also know that we work with the local police department and that the police are a short phone call away.

    Another important action that we take is to attend Court with the child/children. Under Texas law, an underage child who is testifying can not have family members present. Weird, I know, but it seems that the Court is afraid that the child may be intimidated by the family and not be completely honest. So, since the Guardians of the Children members have gotten to know the child and he/she trusts us, and since we are not kin to the child we CAN and DO attend court with the child. It means a lot for the little one to see friendly faces in the courtroom. With the permission of the Judge we often can bring the child into the empty courtroom the day or night before to familiarize them with where everyone will sit, etc.

    We also provide toys at Christmas, school supplies, clothes etc. Also take them out for pizza, bowling, etc and have even babysat while the legal guardians (often times grandparents) can get some time away for an evening alone. The legal guardians know and trust us and know that the children will be safe.

    Now, to my question to all of my wonderful quilters here - - does anyone have any ideas how we can a) raise money, b) find more ways to help the kids, c) know of any sites on the internet that help out non profit groups?

    It came to mind to send out this appeal after reading a post about Angel Food Ministries. I'll just bet some of you know of other sources.

    Thanks for reading my whole long story, but believe me this was only a brief description.

  2. #2
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    i belong to a quilt guild that makes quilt for CASA in our area and they Had an auction that we donated quilts for and they received other types of donations to auction they raised quite a bit of money.

  3. #3
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Sounds like a wonderful group you have there. Those children need friends and advocates.
    I'm not sure of the best ways to raise funds. You could try raffling quilts or something like that.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for all you do. The children really need you in their corner. I don't have any suggestions except to check your local newspapers to get ideas of what others are doing.

  5. #5
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    I don;t know of a way for you to raise money,just wanted to say Thank You. for what you do.

  6. #6
    Super Member moonwork42029's Avatar
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    Kathome:

    We also ride (well I just sit there and look pretty) and have participated in your standard dice /poker runs. These have always done well in our area for fund raising. Lately though, instead of just doing 50/50 raffles, some have had auctions before the prizes are handed out.

    I really think that some biker themed "Bow Tuck" totes would create interest in bidding because the gals can always get the guys to buy something for them at a charity event.

    We have a Goldwing and pull a trailer so we have tons of room to haul stuff. Some people just have their saddlebags so it needs to be something that will fit in there or make arrangements for shipping.

    If you have people that are "ate up with" Harley items, you could get handerchiefs and use them as fabric in purses / totes / wall hangings / aprons / napkins/ placemats, etc. Just be careful of any possible infringements by using the material (don't think a charity auction is a problem though).

    Good luck with fund raising and thank you for the work you and your friends do. It takes special people to provide special needs and it sounds like you are definately one of them.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Blue's quilting mama's Avatar
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    I also want to say thank you for doing what you do for the children!

  8. #8
    Senior Member kathome's Avatar
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    Thanks for your ideas and for your thanks too.

    I've thought about making items to raffle/auction, but I am the only one in the group who quilts, crochets or does any "crafting". I also spend a good deal of time on the secretarial work for the group and work as well. I simply can't produce enough to auction off.

    Guardians of the Children also support local charities and often they are the ones who reap the rewards of our efforts. This March we are having a bowling fund raiser and hope to make some money from that event.

  9. #9
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    Have you thought of legally becoming a "charity" or what is it that I'm trying to get to? I mean that you could ask for donations and become a group that would allow the donor to use that donation as a tax write off. Then possibly you could ask United Way for money for the kids.
    We've a lot of clever people on this forum, everyone chime in with ideas!! Think up ideas and let's see if they'll fly.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kathome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona Byrd
    Have you thought of legally becoming a "charity" or what is it that I'm trying to get to? I mean that you could ask for donations and become a group that would allow the donor to use that donation as a tax write off. Then possibly you could ask United Way for money for the kids.
    We've a lot of clever people on this forum, everyone chime in with ideas!! Think up ideas and let's see if they'll fly.
    Yes, we are a non-profit 501(c)(3). There are many, many 501s asking for money. So far no one has given anything. We have applied for a grant from a local organization and will find out sometime in March if it's approved. There is an enormous amount of paperwork that goes into "asking" and yes, we do that.

  11. #11
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    What a great group you are!
    HHHMMMMMMMM, just brainstorming here, not sure what might work for you...
    Maybe a huge rummage and bake sale with donations?
    A big dinner, like a chilli or spaggetti meal, members could cook, Donated food, and sell tickets. Our local animal shelter has a resturaunt that donates food forthis type of thing.They also have a bunch of raffel items that night from things people have donated. I try to supply a quilt.
    Just some ideas...

  12. #12
    Super Member Ditter43's Avatar
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    :thumbup: :D :thumbup: Thank you for doing a valuable service!!

  13. #13
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    Thank you for being there for the kids!

  14. #14
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Check with Walmart they use to have a monthly program of donating gift cards - Pepsi has their thing going on at the moment -

  15. #15
    Super Member trisha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathome
    Thanks for your ideas and for your thanks too.

    I've thought about making items to raffle/auction, but I am the only one in the group who quilts, crochets or does any "crafting". I also spend a good deal of time on the secretarial work for the group and work as well. I simply can't produce enough to auction off.

    Guardians of the Children also support local charities and often they are the ones who reap the rewards of our efforts. This March we are having a bowling fund raiser and hope to make some money from that event.
    All you need is one quilt, or one quilt and maybe a wall hanging, take it to a bike rally, or gathering where there are going to be a lot of people and auction it or them off. I make quilts for our Civil War Re-enactments and from Fri. to Sunday, you can make a lot of money with even just one quilt. Tickets go for 6 for five dollars, or a dollar each. Most people will buy the five dollars worth.
    All nyou have to do is get permission from the people having the event you are going to, and make a sign telling why you are auctioning it off.
    Good Luck, and blessing on you all.

  16. #16
    Super Member missgigglewings's Avatar
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    We have a group here in San Antonio that do exactly the same thing that you all do. the group is called CASA. They work closely with the children's shelter and the abused women's shelter.
    A great organization and just like your wonderful group they struggle with obtaining grant money and donations.There are so many 501(c)s out there and with the economy and budget cuts there is not enough money to go around. A few years ago I wrote the Articles of Incorporation for a local group of musicians called Blues for Shoes. All they wanted to do was hold fund raisers to buy every child who needed them a new pair of shoes when school started each year. They were never approved for a grant and just gave up!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ann63's Avatar
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    I think auctioning quilts are a good idea. You could ask people on the board to make a block or donate fabric. Maybe find a local quilter to quilt it for you.

  18. #18
    Super Member Rainy Day's Avatar
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    Maybe ask some of the on line stores who are on this board to donate some themed fabrics, like these:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-90722-1.htm

    And then raffle them - most people will donate $5.00 for a chance to win a quilt, but will not bid high on one item. Maybe even a first second and third prize? Remember Fried Green Tomatoes, and how they 'sold'the business for $10.00? Maybe asking some of the detailers that do work on your bikes, bodies or leathers for a donation of a custom job?
    I would be happy to donate a block, I make bandanas for my husbands cycling group, which is made up of cancer survivors, and the guys are on at me to make quilts for them.
    I have seen sites where you click to make a donation - haven't seen one for a while though.
    Making the children feel safe is how you are helping them. Keep doing that, and do it well, and they will begin their healing journey.
    Thank you
    Rain

  19. #19
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    Bravo for you and your troops!!!!!!!!Keep up the good work. I don't have any ideas, just wanted to give you the thumbs up.

  20. #20
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Kathome, What a wonderful cause for a motorcycle club! I also ride (HD Roadking) and up until about a year ago was very active in my HOG chapter. I have made several HD T-shirt quilts that we sold raffle tickets for during the course of the year. We have done incredibly well with the raffle proceeds, usually close to $1000. We sell tickets at $5 a pop but I had long advocated dropping the price to $1 thinking we will make much more in volume. People are a lot quicker to drop a buck then a five. But if you do a one ticket for $1 6 for $5 you may make a lot both ways!
    Key is exposure. Hopefully you hold other events that invite other clubs to attend, like the aformentioned poker runs, toy runs etc. This is when we had our biggest ticket sales. We had the quilt out for all who attended to see and a table set up with members selling raffle tickets. There are usually swap meets all the time, if you can work with the organizer of the swap meet perhaps they will allow you to set up a table at no or minimal charge to display the quilt and sell tickets. I can't see any swap meet organizer not willing to give up a bit of space for free for such a great and noble cause.

    Our local dealership was kind enough to display the quilt all year and if someone came in and asked they would sell them a ticket but they didn't actively try to promote ticket sales.

    We asked chapter members to donate T-shirts for the cause. The chapter treasury paid for backing, batting, fusible interfacing, sashing and I donated my labor. If you are the only crafter, maybe a bunch of you could get together for a "work" party to cut out the T-shirts for blocks and iron on the fusible interface. Maybe that might interest some of the other members to try sewing a few blocks together.

    What you do is wonderful and even though 99% of bikers are good, law abiding people not affiliated with an outlaw gang I think it is great that you can take on the persona of the 1%ers (outlaw bikers like Hells Angels, Banditos, Mongols, etc) to intimidate these scumbags that abuse kids. Actually the few HA that I do know wouldn't mind a bit. Even the 1%er's have big hearts when it comes to kids.

  21. #21
    Senior Member kathome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    Kathome,

    What you do is wonderful and even though 99% of bikers are good, law abiding people not affiliated with an outlaw gang I think it is great that you can take on the persona of the 1%ers (outlaw bikers like Hells Angels, Banditos, Mongols, etc) to intimidate these scumbags that abuse kids. Actually the few HA that I do know wouldn't mind a bit. Even the 1%er's have big hearts when it comes to kids.
    Feline Fanatic,

    Thanks for all the good ideas. It seems that I have to revisit the making of the quilt by myself. I too think that it's probably the best money maker.

    As for your comments about the 1%ers............ This is definitely Bandito territory and you are right on about their attitude toward child abusers. Knowing what Guardians of the Children does, they have been very kind to our group and gave permission for us to wear not only colors, but a rocker with the town name. Unheard of!!! By their request, we always phone the local chapter to let them know if we are riding into different areas or out of State and there has never been a hassle anywhere once Banditos "send the word out". We abide by their rules. This is their territory and we co-habitate nicely.

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