Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Because someone was interested in reading it...

Here is another of the papers that I wrote for English class this spring. Now, I hate in old books when the author (think Horatio Alger) uses ____ instead of actually naming a town, but for privacy I decided to take out the actual names of people and places. :) I hope it isn’t too annoying! I also left off my reference page, but since different areas have different rules, it probably wouldn’t have been a lot of help anyway. While researching for this paper, I found out that the Target in our area actually has an application process for people who want grants – and the criteria for grants exactly matches up with the center’s work! I let the center know, and I hope they take advantage of it at some point. :) So, as far as presenting this proposal to Target… unnecessary. The idea behind the paper, however, should work for any store – people just need to ask! The point of this paper is to get people thinking about bigger ways that they can help the pro-life places in their town (bigger than donating a few hundred dollars, say). Depending on what stores and what the needs at the pro-life orginization in your area are, your proposal could look quite different. Let me know what you think…

Needed: Diapers!

What do all of the following have in common: Disposable, Newborn, Snug ‘N’ Dry, Pull-Up, Pure & Natural, Little Mover, Extra Protection, Preemie, Cruiser, and OverNite? They are all types of diapers? True, but more importantly, they are all needed by the [pro-life] Center in ____. The motto of the ____ center, and that of all of the ten centers in the ____ area, is Serving Women, Caring for Life. [these pro-life] Centers provide information, counseling, and help to mothers in need. Sometimes the only place willing to help, these centers strive to care for those women who have no one else. Among their services, they provide necessary supplies such as cribs, car seats, and baby clothes to those mothers who will take parenting courses (center’s website, 2010, para. 3, 4, 16). They also provide diapers for babies up to two years of age. In order to do this, however, they need diapers.
The need for diapers creates a serious problem. As the economy worsens and people have less money to donate, the [pro-life] Centers in the _____ [all over America, I’m sure] need help. According to the executive director (personal communication, January 26, 2010), this non-profit organization gives out an estimated 22,500 diapers every month, 270,000 every year. They receive many of these diapers as donations from volunteers, friends, church groups, and others. Even with this help, the center in _____ alone spends $500 every month at Target for whatever diapers they can get on sale (personal communication, March 25, 2010). Up this point, sporadic donations have been the only help that they have received. No one has yet explored the idea of uniting with a local store that sells diapers in order to provide this essential service to those who need it. Given the volume of diapers used, a partnership between a store, such as Target, and the [pro-life] Centers could be of help to both parties.
If a store was willing to donate 22,500 diapers each month to the centers, this would free up the money the centers previously spent on diapers and enable them to spend it on other things such as housing. An extra $500 a month for the center in ____ could rent an inexpensive apartment – a much better option than the car one eight-month-pregnant woman was living in last winter! Combined with the money the _____ Centers’ supporters spend on diapers each month, the amount saved would enable them to provide better services and help more people. Some of these women need clothes, some need car seats, and some need expensive medical procedures. By eliminating the need to look for, pay for, and think about diapers, the store could facilitate the centers’ concentration on these other pressing issues.
One local store that the volunteers at the centers already frequent is Target. Target’s website states, “It’s part of our commitment to give 5% of our income to communities,” so this idea would be in no way a new concept for Target. It would be a perfect way of making a difference in the lives of community members who will later be local customers shopping at Target. The Target website also says that they help organizations in the ______ area. There are ten ___ Centers well distributed across this same area, including one in ______, _______, _______, _______, ________, and _______, as well as two in ______ - all of them close to Target stores.
A different way Target could help these people is by simply matching the number of diapers that people buy from Target to donate to the ______ Centers, or even selling them at a discounted rate directly to the centers. This approach would cut in half the amount of money the centers have to spend, and it would also provide an incentive for their supporters to buy diapers from Target. Of course, since buying only one thing in a store is something that seldom happens, each time people stopped to buy diapers for the centers, it is very probable that other purchases would also be made, bringing in additional income for Target. A similar plan would be to set up a program through which participating shoppers could earn points for the _____ Centers by buying goods at Target, thereby helping the centers simply by doing all of their shopping at one store. This could be something like a frequent shopper punch-card, where every third package of diapers purchased for the centers is free. Alternatively, vouchers could be given to the ____ Centers and, in turn, distributed to those being served by the centers.
These methods would require planning and perhaps seem as if they would require much time and effort for Target to put into practice. However, considering how many similar programs are used every week in stores all over the country (buy one - get one free sales, gas-card coupons, all manner of promotions and discounts for holidays and special occasion sales), it would not be prohibitively complicated. Nor would it be an expensive undertaking for the store. Besides the fact that Target is already dedicated to helping the community, money donated to the centers would be offset by the benefits. The _____ Centers are local charities directly involved with people who shop at Target and those who would if they had a little more incentive.
Although any of these programs could be implemented and any of them would be beneficial to the centers, the most helpful and the simplest to put into practice would be an outright donation of the diapers to the _____ Centers in the _____ area. Without adding as much paperwork or recordkeeping as the discounted diaper programs would, such a donation would still be a reason for the _____ Center’s clients, workers, volunteers, and supporters to shop at Target. It would still be an incentive for new customer loyalty, and of all possible solutions, it would help the centers the most. If donating supplies is not standard procedure, Target could accomplish the same thing by arranging for a grant to be given to the _____ Centers for the purpose of purchasing diapers. As Target often gives grants to programs benefiting the community, this would easily fit with their stated policy (Target). By giving a grant specifically for diapers, Target would know that the money was going where it was definitely needed and for something extremely necessary.
By donating diapers to the _____ Centers, Target would be benefiting the young mothers in the community. Investing in these mothers, often young and without support, will help their babies, who are the next generation, grow up with what they need. By using a small amount of the $3 million that Target donates every week and giving it to the ____ Centers, Target will be easing the burden on these centers as they seek to help individuals in need (Target). It is something so easy to give – yet something so helpful to the recipient. Something so simple – yet something so important: diapers.

So... what do you think?

4 thoughts shared:

Felicity said...

Thanks for posting this!
I'm looking into it for the center near us.
Yes, the _____ was a little annoying, but your essay is helpful anyway. :D

Katherine Sophia said...

You're welcome!
That's great!
And I'm glad it was helpful, even with thos ___'s. :)

Mom said...

Love your blog! I am a homeschooling mother of six, and you are an inspiration. Thank you for drawing attention to the Sanctity of Life. That is an issue that is very important to me. You can help cover the unborn with prayer by posting this prayer request to your blog's side panel.

Many Blessings!
A Mom :-)

Katherine Sophia said...

Thank you! I'm glad you like it, and I appreciate the encouragement.
And I am going to add that prayer request right now! Thanks!


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