“The Jammie Drive and party is one of the most joyous and fruitful activities run by community members to benefit our shelter residents. Our residents are so grateful!”
– Patricia Bidar, Director of Development, Building Futures
It took me several days to come down from the joy of this year’s Jammie Drive benefitting Midway Shelter.
The drive benefits two local domestic violence and homeless shelters and the accompanying safe house run by Building Futures for Women and Children. With the incredible support of local parents and children, this year we (again) supported 115 shelter residents with gifts of cozy pajamas, socks, underthings, and other warm clothes, plus a generous financial donation of $1,100 to allow the Building Futures team to purchase additional supplies they need for the residents.
Participants love this drive because it is personalized—they get to adopt a specific family whom they never meet but whom they can shop for specifically. A mom and her children can shop, for example, for a woman and her two children, age six and 10.
One of the highlights of the event for me is the presentation at the party I host culminating the event when I ask the kids giving the gifts how they liked shopping for their families. It is heartwarming to see their enthusiastic faces and hear their responses. I feel like we are cultivating compassion and the true spirit of the holidays in our children, while providing much needed items to courageous folks starting a new, better chapter of their lives. A true win-win.
This year’s campaign was a whirlwind.
Within three days of announcing the drive just to the list of people who were on my early notification list, 60% of the families had been adopted, and within 10 days all the families had been adopted. I didn’t even send the invitation to my full list this year – there was so much interest and return participation from past attendees. To get on this list for next year’s drive, please fill out the form on this page.
This year, I had a personal tour of Midway Shelter so I could have a better sense of what it was like for the residents. I was so impressed by the coziness and cleanliness of the facility, the dedication and unconditional love of the staff, and the way that the program empowers women and children in difficult situations to effectively begin a new chapter of their lives. It was emotional to hear some of the stories.
I had the foresight and incredibly good fortune this year to hire an outstanding coordinator, event maven Kimberlee MacVicar, to both handle many of the logistics and also to add her own special touches for the end-of-drive party. Here are some highlights – and thank yous – from that event:
- The kids enjoyed a Zumba class by Denise Lum. It was fun to see the kids dancing in their jammies!
- The Barefoot Quales Bluegrass Family Band returned for a repeat engagement to bless us with their wonderful bluegrass music. They are a fixture at the event, and have been involved from the first year, when they raised money to purchase their gifts by playing at local farmers’ markets.
- Delicious food by Gather and Grub, Lainie Acacio and lovely baked goods by Renee Moreno
- Wonderful photo coverage by Nancy Rothstein Photography
- A multitude of food donations from Feel Good Bakery allowing us to send a great deal of delicious bread back to the shelters, along with the gifts.
- 3D greeting card making station sponsored by Jo Anne Yada and Redux Studios & Gallery
On behalf of myself and the staff at Building Futures for Women and Children, I want to thank all who participated for their generous contributions to support the women and children of Midway Shelter and her sister facilities. Having new, cozy clothing is a comfort we all enjoy; how wonderful to be able to provide a similar comfort to others.
What a terrific community I have, and I am so glad to be able to kick off the holiday season in this meaningful way.
By the way, Midway and her sister facilities need donations not just at the holidays, but all year round. Learn more about how you can help here.