Meeting at Atlanta Bread for lunch, Benevolent Baskets co- founders Run by
Lerario and Geisel created a business plan and launched Benevolent Baskets five years ago as an independent 501(c)3 transitional skills program under the umbrella of
The organization's goal is to involve clients in creating gift baskets to be marketed to the public, an important step in giving them skills to re-enter the workforce and find independent housing. Proceeds from basket sales help support the center.
Guided by Lerario and Geisel, the women learn production techniques, sales, teamwork and how to interact with the public.
A typical day at Benevolent Baskets starts with check-in at
Fifteen or more clients are generally involved, along with several volunteers. They are very productive, especially during the holiday season.
Baskets come in a variety of sizes and prices ranging from
Most are themed or seasonal. A "
"Currently, we're busy creating
Craft fairs are favorite sales venues. Proud of their work, the women love participating in them and gain a lot of confidence relating to customers. There are incentives for clients in the form of vouchers for Goodwill or
Benevolent Baskets volunteers continue to be primarily from
The volunteers are amazed that, over the last few years, a significant number of My Sister's Place clients in
"We believe the reason for this is a shortage of emergency housing in the county and a lack of transitional programs," Lerario said. "The goal for most of these women is to move back to
Benevolent Baskets has many success stories to share. One client's goal was to move to
Another lady, who came to My Sister's Place from
Geisel and Lerario and their volunteers said working with Benevolent Baskets is a humbling experience and a rewarding one. The experience is equally rewarding for the clients who feel good about themselves while learning new skills and giving back to My Sister's Place.
The Big Bean in
Benlolo graduated from
The coffee shop will donate all profits from the day's sales to the
Contributions can be made at any
"The Big Bean looks forward to seeing the community come out to support Cody and honor Brianna's memory," said owner
Make a blanket
Learn blanket-making techniques while helping create a blanket to be donated to an area child who is ill, traumatized or in need. No special skills are needed.
For more information, visit www.linusannapolis.org.
Meeting at Atlanta Bread for lunch, Benevolent Baskets co- founders