After volunteering at Cradles to Crayons twice with the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executives Group, Dara Trout decided it was time to take even more direct action.
Dara, co-owner of Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services, along with husband, Brad, explained that “Each volunteer session was about four hours on a Saturday. We sorted books into age-appropriate bins, made up packs of age- and size-appropriate clothing and shoes, cleaned and sorted toys and games, and filled orders placed by area social service agencies for children in their care.
“Each time that Brad and I volunteered,” she said, “we noticed that something was in short supply. The first time it was children’s underwear, the second time certain shoe sizes.”
After seeing the need, Dara decided to organize a community drive to collect items for Cradles to Crayons (www.cradlestocrayons.org), the Montgomery County-based organization that addresses the poverty faced by one in five children in the Greater Philadelphia region by collecting and providing new and nearly new daily essentials that disadvantaged children, birth through age 12, need to thrive. Dara and Brad reached out to their Seniors Helping Senior employees, neighbors, and friends. “Even our postal carrier contributed,” Brad noted.
As busy as the pair is with Seniors Helping Seniors (www.heart4helpingseniors.com) – which provides elder care and senior home care in Upper Bucks County, northern Chester County and western Montgomery County by uniquely matching senior citizens who need care with other seniors who want to provide care (including a range of non-medical in-home care services) – the drive raised 12 boxes of clothing, toys, and books. Dara Trout pointed out proudly that “some folks cleaned out those near-new items their children had outgrown, while others actually purchased brand new items!”
Michal Smith, executive director of Cradles to Cradles, recognized the Trouts for their efforts, noting that “the 12 boxes of children’s product were absolutely fabulous! I know that our ‘out of stock’ items have been reduced,” Smith said. “That means that a social worker will receive everything that they order for a specific child in their care, instead of perhaps missing new socks and underwear, or older boys’ pants and shoes, which are always in short supply.”
Not to rest on their laurels, Dara says that Cradles to Crayons could count on her support for volunteering, “and for another Seniors Helping Seniors’ drive in the future.”