Spotlight Grant activity. St. Louis #9 used the Spotlight Grant to support necessary baby supplies and books for Our Lady’s Inn. Our Lady’s Inn is a maternity home for abused women. We asked our members to donate items or to donate cash which the committee could use to purchase additional items. Many members who did not know exactly what to purchase choose to donate cash. We partnered with Half Price Books to make the book purchases. Half Price Books allowed us to receive an additional 10% off the total amount which gave us over $70 in additional funds for books. While the total number of books purchased and collected exceeds 275, the staff at Half Price Books acknowledged the importance of getting books to the babies and children at Our Ladies Inn and facilitated our efforts. Without the support of our members this effort would not be possible.
With Covid still in the St. Louis area, we are only able to drop off the donations but the attached letter from Our Lady’s Inn does express their appreciation.
What local need was met? Our Lady’s Inn (https://ourladysinn.org) is a maternity home for pregnant women and their dependent children who are homeless or in crisis. This organization is accredited and highly respected in our area. Since the pandemic the need to help these women is even greater and rising costs is also presenting challenges as the organization helps provide a safe home and training for these women. Our Lady’s Inn also has received high ratings on Charitynavigator.org and Guidestar.org. Since these women are in distress their identity cannot be revealed and Lodge members cannot go to the facility, but the donations are very necessary for the work of this organization.
How Elks were involved. The Lodge members were requested by announcements and Facebook postings to provide baby items and books. It was also announced at all Lodge meetings in December and January. We have several members who are educators who participated in selecting the purchased books. Through their efforts, St. Louis Lodge #9 was able to provide over 20 books for each women at the shelter to help develop a personal children’s library. We were able to purchase 24 boxes of diapers intended to provide an entire month’s worth of diapers for a child. In addition, members donated additional boxes of diapers and diaper wipes, and other baby items. Diaper wipes and baby body and shampoo were also purchased. These are essential items to meet the goals of the Spotlight Grant in providing the baby supplies and helping the literacy among these children.
What were the project’s successes? Successes were it appealed to several new members who made significant donations and donations of time in selecting the books. Finding projects that new members can immediately become involved with the Lodge helps engage these members from the beginning. It also helps reinforce with all members the important benevolent work that Elks Lodges are committed to perform.
How did the Lodge react to the project? What feedback did you receive from Lodge members and the community? The Lodge was very receptive to this project. As previously mentioned some members gave cash to help purchase items as they were unsure of what to purchase. Other members went through the children’s books at home and made donations, some members helped make the purchases. One of the educators selecting the books said she felt she was contributing and looking through all the books reminded her of purchasing and reading books to her children and grandchildren.
Final Report submitted by Jane Schnettler January 27, 2022 11:48 AM.