About five years ago, Linthicum resident Tamara Adams was looking for a way her family could volunteer together. The problem was, many of the organizations Adams inquired about didn’t have opportunities for children to help.
As the mother of four sons, Adams knew she needed to find another way. She began brainstorming with her children and asked them to think about a need within the community. At the time, the weather was cold and they recognized not everyone has the means to keep themselves warm. From there, they decided to collect coats and jackets to donate to those in need.
“We just kind of set a goal that year to collect around 100 coats,” Adams said. “They surpassed that goal and the next year they said, ‘Mom, we are going to collect coats again.’ So, we would collect them and donate them to local homeless shelters or organizations, and within an hour, they would be gone because of the need that people have.”
To try keep up with the demand, Adams and her sons increased their collection goal and reached out to their friends and family for help and encouraged them to spread the word. Pretty soon, not only were coats donated, but other items, as well.
“It just kind of snowballed to accepting kid’s coats, then sweatshirts, hoodies and stuff like that,” Adams said. “We were just glad to have anything that would add a layer for the local homeless or the people in need. Coats are expensive and sadly, most of us have four or five in our closets.”
Initially, Adams and her family would collect the items and then donate them to shelters or organizations. Saying she felt guilty about holding onto them until the collection was over, Adams now donates the coats as quickly as she receives them.
Along with donating items to local shelters, Adams also gives area schools the children’s clothing they collect. Recently, the donations were given to schools in the Lansdowne and Arbutus area.
Adams also works and partners with Be More Caring, an organization that serves the homeless in Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City. Last week, Adams and the group went to the city and distributed the items to those who needed them.
Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore counties, as well as Baltimore City, are the areas that typically provide her with the most donations. And while she usually drives to the locations and collects the items, the mother of four says she also receives donations in the mail.
“We’ll take them from wherever they come from,” Adams said. “We’ve had someone mail us boxes of them from Florida. We kind of encourage people to give them to some place local because they’ll spend so much on shipping.”
A multivendor event, to celebrate Small Business Saturday, will be held Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at 434 Cleveland Road in Linthicum. Vendors from LuLaRoe, Scentsy, Origami Owl, Thirty-One, Color Street, Paparazzi and others will be in attendance.
Linthicum Heights UMC, 200 School Lane, will accept and bless food donations for Thanksgiving, Nov. 18. Attendees are asked to bring nonperishable food items, which will be donated to NCEON.