Mardi Bras RVA >> Plan B

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.06.37 PM

Hi, Friends and Neighbors!

I am overwhelmed at the generosity of each and every one of you! Seriously! This started out as a quick invitation to some friends, that has now exploded into a full movement! And… I couldn’t be more thrilled! Seriously! Even with the postponement due to the pending storm, I couldn’t be happier. WHY????? Because it gives us an extra week to tell more people and collect more bras, underwear, pads, tampons and such! WOO HOO!!!  Please help spread the word by forwarding this message to them!

So, here’s the latest…

NBC12 NEWS SEGMENT, Karla Redditte:

IMG_3311

If you missed her Focus on Faith Segment on Wednesday, 2/4, you can see it here – NBC12 Interview and Video.  Karla and Matt (camera guy) were amazing and fun! So appreciate them!

NEW DATES: 

Due to the pending snowstorm, we have rescheduled for next week!

Monday, February 23rd        5p – 8pm

Tuesday, February 24th        10a – 12noon

LOCATION:

Miss Marti’s House, an urban ministry of Into The Neighborhood, Inc.                                        2101 Barton Avenue; Richmond, VA 23222

NEEDS:

  • Underwear – all shapes, all sizes. Don’t forget larger sizes! Need solid white for Richmond City Justice Center. Other colors are good for other ministries.
  • Bras – all shapes, all sizes. Don’t forget larger sizes! Need solid white and NO WIRES!!! for Richmond City Justice Center. Other colors are good for other ministries.
  • Pads and Tampons

CONTRIBUTIONS:

If you want to make a contribution, make your check to Into The Neighborhood and include a note that says Mardi Bras RVA, and we will use the funds to provide the necessary products. Mail it to:

Into The Neighborhood  2101 Barton Ave Richmond, VA 23222


We are thankful for these gifts and contributions:  A real answer to prayer!!!

GFC Catering for catering both gatherings.

The Cake Lady - for supplying beautiful cakes for both gatherings!


ORGANIZATIONS WE ARE SUPPORTING:

Check back often because we will update the list!

NEW ADDITION:

Because of deliveries like THIS…

IMG_3328

And THIS…

IMG_3327

and THIS!!!

IMG_3325

we have gotten this….

IMG_3333

And need your help filling it up!  We are so grateful to PODS for the generous gift to us! We have it temporarily to collect, sort and store all of your donations! WHAT A BLESSING!

Hope to see you in a week!

May God bless you for being a blessing to others,

for it is more blessed to give than receive. 

Peace.


Mardi Bras RVA (and surrounding areas, too!)

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.06.37 PM

REVISED FEBRUARY 15 at 11pm

Due to the pending snowstorm, we are postponing Mardi Bras RVA for one week! We are doing our best to contact everyone and make new arrangements with our partners and volunteers. Please take advantage of this extra week to tell more friends and collect more products! Thanks a million! Also – help us by spreading the news and sharing this post >>  MARDI BRAS RVA >> PLAN B

For updates, you can…

  • subscribe to this site by providing your email on the right column, 
  • “like” our Facebook page at >> INTO THE NEIGHBORHOOD FB PAGE, and/or
  • check back often.

NEW DATES:

Monday, February 23rd from 5-8p

Tuesday, February 24th from 10a-12n

Stay safe and warm!  Remember our friends who are homeless during this frigid, snowy weather.

I want to send a huge THANK YOU!!! for all of you! The phone calls, texts, emails, etc. Your support is overwhelming and humbling. Your kind words have been so encouraging and life-giving. But, I can’t stress enough – this isn’t about me! This is about the call follow Jesus’s top greatest commandments – Love God. Love Neighbor.  And I am grateful for all of you who are choosing to love and serve in a practical, and EXTRAVAGANTLY and GENEROUS way. You rock!


Revised February 11, 2015 Thankful to Karla Redditte – NBC 12 for doing a segment on Mardi Bras RVA – you can watch the clip here >> NBC12 Interview and Video. Update on needs:  I spent the morning at the Richmond City Justice Center – RCJC (aka the city jail) and learned that a good number of folks who stay there have once been or will be homeless within a year of getting out. That’s due to LOTS of reasons. Let’s not be judgmental about that. They have needs too… but their needs are special.  We are called to serve and love the imprisoned.  Let’s love them well. Please take note: WHITE ONLY bras and underwear.  NO UNDERWIRE in the bras. Plus, they too need pads, tampons, etc. They do get some, but not as many as they really need. There are around 100 women in the RCJC right now (out of 1100 residents).  Let’s see what we can do to support these ladies. We are working on other opportunities where we can serve there. Stay tuned!


Revised February 5th: Thankful for new partners along with folks who are catering and baking! Big news coming next week! Stay Tuned!


REVISED JANUARY 28th: Based on what I am hearing and already receiving in deliveries…I know.. exciting, right??? Deliveries already!!! You all rock!!! NEED MORE PADS!! – both menstrual and incontinence pads and adult diapers. NEED LESS TAMPONS!! We have plenty coming in!  NEED NEW UNDERWEAR MORE THAN NEW BRAS!  And we really prefer NEW!


REVISED JANUARY 26: INFORMATION HAS BEEN UPDATED TO BETTER REFLECT THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY. PLEASE READ PURCHASING TIPS BELOW! WE ALSO ARE ADDING NEW RECIPIENTS OF THE PRODUCTS! THANKS TO THOSE YOU ARE ASSISTING WITH COLLECTIONS! I’VE HEARD OF HAIR SALONS, BANKS, CHURCHES, BIBLE STUDIES AND SMALL GROUPS, OFFICES, AND MORE! YOU GUYS ARE AH-MAZING! I’M OVERWHELMED!   FLYER TO POST IN YOUR PLACE OF WORK, CHURCH, ETC. >>    Be sure to include your information on the bottom if you are collecting for others. THANKS!  MARTI


How many pair of underwear do you have in your drawer right now? How many bras? When ‘that time of the month’ comes, do you wonder where you will obtain your supplies of pads or tampons? Sorry – if you are a guy and reading this, I dare you to ask your wife, daughter, sister, girlfriend, or mother these questions. I recently talked with a few women who used to be homeless and spent a lot of time on the street. They wondered about this every day… and every month. Supplies are NOT readily available for women who are homeless or on a low or restricted income. No – food stamps and other resources do NOT cover feminine protection. Then, I read this article…For Homeless Women, Getting Their Period Is One Of The Most Difficult Challenges which confirmed what I thought. It’s a problem that can be easily solved and we decided to do something about it.  So, here’s the deal. We are going to collect pads, tampons, new bras, new underwear and incontinence pads for women who are homeless or on low/restricted income! Keep reading! MARDI GRAS, where women bare their breasts for beads in New Orleans, is right around the corner. Instead of revealing our breasts, we are going to work at covering some! Mardi Bras 2015 Picture MARDI BRAS, where we are hosting 2 Open Houses to collect NEW bras, NEW underwear, pads, tampons, poise pads for homeless and low income families. It was also suggested to get menstrual cups, too, although we don’t need many of those! 2 OPEN HOUSE GATHERINGS: We are hosting 2 gatherings. This is a time for diverse people to come together to solve a common problem! Everyone is welcome to attend!

Monday Night        2/16       5-8pm              2/24    5-8pm

Tuesday Morning   2/17      10a-12noon     2/25   10a-12noon

LOCATION:

Miss Marti’s House, an urban ministry of Into The Neighborhood, Inc.                                        2101 Barton Avenue; Richmond, VA 23222

If you are on Facebook, join the FB Group >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/MardiBrasRVA/ If you can attend, please RSVP to the gathering you can attend here:

~ Monday Night, 2/16            5-8pm   FB Invite – https://www.facebook.com/events/752391614844746/

~ Tuesday Morning, 2/17      10a-12noon  FB Invite - https://www.facebook.com/events/300731026804393

If you able to bring a snack to share, that would be greatly appreciated, too! PURCHASING TIPS: We are collecting:

  • Menstrual Pads and some tampons. Pads are needed more than tampons, please.
  • Incontinence Pads and adult diapers.
  • NEW Bras – of ALL sizes! Please remember larger sizes, too.
  • NEW Women’s underwear – of ALL sizes! Please remember larger sizes, too.

I’ve learned the following from talking to some of our resources and friends!

  • UPDATE:  After speaking to partner organizations, we learned that there is a need for PADS of all kinds – for mentstruation and incontinence, as well as adult diapers!
  • Remember larger sized women for bras and undies! We need more of them than the smaller sizes!!!
  • Without going into a lot of details, menstrual cups are not that successful for homeless women in the RVA area (because there are not many sanitary places for them to be used and it becomes dangerous/unclean.) Although many of the prostitutes can still use them because they can still conduct business. We just won’t need a lot of them.
  • Check back often! We will update as we learn more! More to come!

CONTRIBUTIONS: If you want to make a contribution, make your check to Into The Neighborhood and include a note that says Mardi Bras RVA, and we will use the funds to provide the necessary products. Mail it to:

Into The Neighborhood  2101 Barton Ave Richmond, VA 23222


We are thankful for these gifts and contributions:  A real answer to prayer!!!

GFC Catering for catering both gatherings.

The Cake Lady - for supplying beautiful cakes for both gatherings!


OTHER NEEDS:

  • Tell your friends, clubs, small groups, pastors, hair salons, etc.
  • People who can help pack and deliver to supporting organizations.

ORGANIZATIONS WE ARE SUPPORTING: Check back often because we will update the list!

SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS INFORMATION: If you know of a place that could use these items, give them a call and let us know what they need, so that we can collect and distribute them. Send the following information to missmartishouse[at]me[dot]com.

  • Organization Name
  • Contact Name, Number, Email
  • Women they support and how they support them.
  • Supplies Needed
  • Are you willing to attend one of the gatherings to share about the plight of women who are homeless in the Metro RVA area?

Thanks! Look forward to seeing you all!


Top 10 Posts in the Last 5 Years!

The First Picture on My Blog

The First Picture on My Blog

Today is the 5 year anniversary of my very first blog post! It started as a lenten project. Many people had encouraged me to tell my story… of how I moved “Into The Neighborhood” and how I met the “other half of my pair”. So…this is how it started..with this post… why blog? and in the beginning, where I told the story over the Lenten season in the spring of 2010. If you want to read my story from the beginning, start there and work your way backwards.

Of if you want to jump around over the last 5 years, you have read about things like… How Louis and I metCamp Splash, Easter Egg Hunts, Halloween, my 50th Birthday, Community Cookouts, Living on Mission, and more!

Since then…it’s been hit or miss. I’ve been busy living life more than writing about it. It’s come in spits and sputters, as i write sporadically. I just want to say thanks for reading. And special thanks to those who share how my writing… my God-inspired true life stories… help shape your life.  Thanks a lot.

And lastly… just for the fun of it… here are the top 10 posts of all times, based on number of views since 2010. Check them out here…

Go to the people Live among them….Chinese Poem
Mardi Bras RVA (and surrounding areas, too!)
A Night Unlike Most Other Nights
Heart Breaking. Soul Weeping. Mind Reeling. Knees Bending.
10 Things to Think About Before You Give in the Amazing Raise 2014 (or anywhere else for that matter!)
Once Upon A Time…
“My friends are my estate.” Emily Dickenson
New. Every. Morning.
this woMan’s Best Friend
To Give…or Not to Give

To All My Single People – You Know Who You Are

To my single friends on Valentine’s Day, especially the women who longingly desire to be in a relationship…to be married.

You know who you are. I see you. I hear you. We have chatted and cried together. We pray for that “special one” without ceasing. I understand. I was single, never married and lived alone until I was 45, when I married the “other half of my pair”. I see you. And I love you.

More importantly, THE LORD SEES YOU!!! You are loved with an everlasting love. But – to keep it real – that just doesn’t feel like enough sometimes. (Although it should – and then you feel guilty about it because it should and it doesn’t. Vicious cycle!!!) I’m not going to preach. Promise. I just want to share a few things.

I get that this can be the hardest day of the year for many of you. Today and wedding days. When you are thinking “Phew. Lord Jesus. Help me get through this day without punching someone.” You will be barraged with pictures of your friends and their spouses and boy/girlfriends receiving heart-shaped pancakes, balloons, and cookies, along with that box of chocolates and a gift certificate for a massage. You will read posts that ooze of sweet-nothing’s. You will see pictures of scrumptious food being served by candlelight in a lovely restaurant, unless he takes her to the candlelight dinner at Waffle House (yes… true story this year!!!) And I am sorry for the pain this may give you, as you long for Cupid to fly his arrow in your direction.  I see you, and I hear your pain.

Please – let me remind you – this is but one day out of 365. For many of these couples, the other 364 is a real struggle. For many couples, it’s a chance to play the ‘happy, loving couple’ for one day out of a year. Please don’t see the ‘fairy tale romance’ played out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as reality. There is NO knight-in-shining-armor riding up on a beautiful horse. The struggle is real.

For the rest of the couples, yes… we are happy – most of the time. Being in a relationship is hard work; and I would be lying if I said there weren’t times that I thought – “Gosh, it was so much easier when I was single.” Please hear my heart, I love Louis to life (don’t like saying “to death”! LOL). There are just days that I think, “Phew. Lord Jesus. Help me not punch my husband today.” True. Story. Just ask him. (He laughed when I read this to him, because he knows it’s true.)

I am reminded of what Gary Thomas writes – What if being married was more about making you holy than making you happy. For me, a truer statement has never been uttered. When I was single and first read his book, Sacred Marriage, that line bounced off the page and hit me straight against my forehead. I even changed it to – what if relationships (as a whole) were designed to make you holy more than happy. I thought of many relationships that were challenging to me at that time. And then I thought – a lack of that special relationship was more about making me holy than making me happy. And then, I would remember His Promise…that all things work together for my good….as I struggled to trust God and his timing. If I went with my timing, I might very likely be married to a drug and alcohol addicted, neglectful husband with 13 kids hanging outside of a trailer.

But God.

All of that to say. I see you. And I think of and pray for you on days like today. You are loved. You are seen.


Masks, Beads, Kids and Supplies

One week from today, and we started preparing yesterday! I am grateful for the neighborhood kiddos who came to help… and play just a little. I love these kids! For more information about Mardi Bras RVA check out… Mardi Bras RVA Blog Post or Mardi Bras – Update

IMG_3304

Neighborhood Kiddos Help with Mardi Bras RVA

IMG_3305

SMILE ! ! ! I love these kids!

Mardi Bras RVA supplies are coming in every day! Keep 'em coming!

Mardi Bras RVA supplies are coming in every day! Keep ‘em coming!


Homeless and Day Warming and Overflow Shelter Sites

It’s the time of year when our friends who sleep outside need a warm place to lay their heads. Please note the following press release that came out earlier today and make notes for the future! Sorry that I didn’t read and post it sooner. PLEASE NOTE IN BOLD AND ITALICS BELOW… In order to sleep in the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter, you must have a referral. Note: There are NO services (that I know of…) on the weekends! Sigh.

City’s Day Warming Site Open ~~~ Saturday, December 13 Through Monday, December 15

The City’s Cold Weather Day Warming site will open on Saturday, December 13, Sunday, December 14, and Monday, December 15 from 6:30 a.m. to noon.

LOCATION:

  • Saturday and Monday – shelter guests should enter through the doors at 9th and Clay streets, closest to the court building.
  • Sunday – City’s Department of Social Services Marshall Plaza location, 900 East Marshall Street.

 City’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter (overnight) Open ~~~  December 12 through December 14 

The City’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will open tonight, December 12, Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14 as overnight temperatures are forecast to remain at or below 40 degrees during this period.

The overflow shelter is located in the City’s Public Safety Building at 505 North 9th Street. The shelter entrance is the second entrance on the 9th Street side of the building closest to Leigh Street. The shelter opens at 7 p.m. and closes the following morning at 6 a.m. Shelter registration will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Food will not be provided and pets are not allowed.

Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Commonwealth Catholic Charities Homeless Point of Entry by 5 p.m. today for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Commonwealth Catholic Charities Homeless Point of Entry is located at 511 West Grace Street. A referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be provided to individuals who are not eligible for an existing shelter or if all available beds have been filled.

Individuals seeking access to the Overflow Shelter must have a referral.

Other Cold Weather Notes:

The City’s Department of Social Services provides emergency assistance with gas and electric disconnection notices for residents who qualify. Residents may also call the Fuel Line at (804) 646-7046.

The elderly or residents with disabilities should contact Senior Connections for assistance at (804) 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Naps? Why, yes! Thank you!

Marti and Louis Napping

YES!  Honestly this is one of the best feelings…BEST EVER…. napping in the arms of the one who loves you… the one you love…. the one you fight with… the one you make up with… the one that you say “I Do” to… for better or worse…  in sickness and in health… in rich and in poor… in JOY and sorrow… to love and cherish…  in the good, the bad, the ugly…  awake and asleep. :)

Grateful for my friend, Nicole, who caught this shot on Sunday after worshiping, eating, walking in the woods, and zip lining with friends. Nothing like a Cowboys/Redskins game to put you right to sleep. Sigh. zzzzZZZZZZ

Happy Birthday, today, to the Other Half of My Pair.  To many more years of napping together! Love you, babe!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 718 other followers