Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Have you ever been to a photo shoot for clothes? Now I can say I have! Thanks to the amazing photographer Christine Gatti and the wonderful Michelle Elzay, founder of Sparrow Design who donated use of her studio space, we had a fabulous photo shoot. I can't wait to post photos of our beautiful garments, hand made by mothers and grandmothers in Lima, Peru, of 100% Pima cotton. These make the perfect baby gift! You can purchase a "Bennison" on our website (still in progress, but it works) www.bennisongives.com. These purchases enable us to continue our pajama collecting, distributing, and, over time, will help fund specific projects in maternal and children's health in some places that need it the most.
We continue to expand our sites where we give pajamas - we now give the the following places: Village Health Works, where we started. It was through my interactions with the doctors at this rural clinic, in one of the poorest countries in the world, that I learned about the life saving benefits of footed pajamas. We have been sending pajamas there for several years and are happy to be able to continue that! www.villagehealthworks.org Sacred Valley Health. This organization serves communities in the Cusco region of rural Peru. Many of these villages are without road access for at least part of the year which makes medical care very difficult. There are also high rates of malnutrition among children in this region - close to 35%. Sacred Valley Health trains community health workers (community members) to identity, treat, and refer patients. We are grateful to the teams of nurses that go from the Unites States to this region with Sacred Valley Health for bringing our pajamas to the children there. www.sacredvalleyhealth.org Bridge Haven Transitional Home. This is a homeless shelter in the Bronx, New York, just 5 miles from my house in Manhattan, New York. This area of the Bronx is the poorest congressional district in the entire country. While children at this shelter are not at risk of dying from malnutrition like we see in other places, the needs are great, with most of the people in this area, and at Bridge Haven, living below the poverty line. Bridge Haven is part of the Samaritan Village social service agencies and offers housing and counseling for struggling families. www.samaritanvillage.org Please like us on Facebook to follow our work and our expanding partnerships! www.facebook/bennisongives.com
I have been touched to receive emails from all over the country, from California to Maine to South Carolina, from women wanting to collect pajamas to help children in need. We have an organization of 5,000 employees collecting, and a French class in New Jersey collecting, and a women's support group for mothers of children struggling with addiction collecting. In the emails I have received I have seen so clearly the innate desire to help others and a generosity of spirit that is heart warming. One woman, whose letter was especially touching, explained how she has dealt with worry about her own child by serving other children, asking if she could help with this project. She reminded me of the wonderful quote by Mother Teresa which brought tears to my eyes: "Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love." I guess that's really the point of much of this, that through small, love filled actions we can make a difference in someone else's life.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
So much to catch up on, and I'm afraid I have not had a minute to sit down to write. We have the privilege of being in Redbook Magazine this month which has been so wonderful. The sort article about us has generated so much enthusiasm among women all over the country, and I have received so many touching emails from Maine and California and South Carolina and Texas, etc....such an illustration of how eager people are to make a difference and to give back. I can't wait to see pajama drives come to fruition and to see photos of women all over coming together to make a difference in another child's life. Check us out in Redbook, and see our website www.bennisongives.com to purchase and to donate! Trying to post photos but having trouble...