Get Involved: The Little Bit Foundation

By Sheniqua Faulkner
In Culture, Feature

Volunteers at this nonprofit provide the basic necessities and loving support that underprivileged children need to learn and to feel empowered.

 

Rosemary Hanley and Elise Tierney were both soccer moms who had sons at Christian Brothers College High School. Long after their sons’ team held a winter coat drive, Hanley and Tierney continued to work with local churches and the Salvation Army to help provide clothing and necessities to people in need.

In December 2001, Hanley and Tierney received a call from a teacher at Woerner Elementary School who explained that many of her students were coming to school without coats, and were so cold, their arms were blue. “When we heard this, we knew we had to help,” says Hanley. “We rounded up as much winter wear as we could and clothed about 175 children in coats at the school.” Before leaving the school, Hanely and Tierney asked the school how else they could help. Soon after, these super moms were planning how they could help even more St. Louis children.

Give A Little Bit

In 2002, The Little Bit Foundation was officially conceived (it received its a 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation in 2006), and with the help of a small army of like-minded volunteers, TLBF assisted in helping collect and distribute high-quality clothing, uniforms, school supplies and hygiene kits to children attending inner-city schools. The Foundation’s impact extends beyond just making drop-offs; since its inception, Hanley and Tierney have realized the importance of creating meaningful, personal relationships with students and spend quality time in the schools they serve. “What we noticed is, these children need and want more than ‘stuff,'” says Hanley. “They need us just as much for our presence and our commitment to consistently be there just as much as they need the items.”

Breaking Down Barriers

Understanding that academic success is highly dependent on students’ attendance and preparedness, The Little Bit Foundation works with principals, teachers, counselors, social workers, nurses and parent-teacher liaisons help to identify children in need. The items the children receive coupled with the interaction with volunteers who care help boost self-esteem and help students effectively overcome barriers to academic success. The Little Bit Foundation also works with other charities, often partnering with these organizations to further meet the needs of the students. The Foundation’s efforts are working; it currently serves nearly 3,000 students at 13 inner-city schools.

Get Involved
At the heart of The Little Bit Foundation are its volunteers. Join TLBF’s more than 100 passionate do-gooders who help collect and sort donations, fill orders in the warehouse and visit schools each week. Gather your co-workers or other group to conduct a drive for school supplies or hygiene times or make a monetary donation. Or gather your knitting or crocheting circle to create scarves, hats or sweaters that can be donated. You can also select gifts from The Little Bit Foundation’s online boutique, including school uniforms, undergarments, supplies or a warm coat. You or your organization can even sponsor a child, a class or even a school for a year. As its founders Rosemary Hanley and Elise Tierney have said since they began the Foundation, every little bit can make a big difference in the life of a child.

For more info about The Little Bit Foundation, log on to thelittlebitfoundation.org.

 

749_381.jpgThe Little Bit Foundation Volunteers

750_381.jpgThe Little Bit Foundation Volunteers

751_381.jpgThe Little Bit Foundation Volunteers

752_381.jpgThe Little Bit Foundation Volunteers

 

Photo credit: Photos Courtesy of The Little Bit Foundation.

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