SIDNEY — Since 1974, Shelby County has been served by a local Right to Life chapter that operates a thrift shop and provides literature, a speakers bureau and support for pro-life issues. Gifts received on the Community Foundation’s Match Day will help establish an “Early Bird” program to assist youth through the thrift shop.
“I currently have several outstanding children who frequently visit to volunteer their time,” said Marie Berning, Right to Life Thrift Shop manager. “I think one of the biggest ways we can help the community is to catch these kids while they’re young and enthusiastic about earning a small wage, and help them to encourage and strengthen this work ethic, while exposing them to a loving and kind setting. I would like to channel this into a structured Early Bird program.”
The Early Bird program would be an extension of the Thrift Shop’s current Work-To-Earn program, which provides adults with the opportunity to earn store credit through working with Thrift Shop staff. To launch the new program, the Thrift Shop would first need to make some capital improvements for child safety. Improvements include leveling floors in the wash room and adding play and learning spaces in a work room. Storage would be added in several areas to make it easier for the young helpers to sort and arrange diapers, clothing and baby gear.
“It was difficult this summer to find enough work for all those kids, because really they could only help by sweeping and mopping the floors, and refolding the blankets and onesies in the bins,” said Berning. “To give this many children meaningful tasks, it is important that they be able to do some of the behind-the-scenes work with me — things like sorting donations by season or gender, operating the washer, sorting shoes by size, and boxing up items for storage. Match Day gifts will make these improvements possible.”
Right to Life membership is open to all who share a desire to promote respect for all human life, and especially for the most vulnerable, the unborn.
To contribute to Right to Life of Shelby County on Match Day, gifts must be made payable to the Community Foundation of Shelby County with: Match/Right to Life noted on the memo or in an accompanying note or form. Details and forms are available at the Community Foundation website at www.commfoun.com or at Right to Life of Shelby County. Gifts must be received on or before Nov. 28 to be eligible for up to $5,000 in matching money.