Lauren Schmidt is a poet and teacher whose goal is to make the world a better place, an extraordinary person I'm fortunate to have as a colleague at Monmouth.
Lauren is a volunteer at Manna House, a home for young women with babies organized by a collective of Monmouth County religious institutions -- Christian and Jewish, Catholic and Protestant. Besides providing housing, Manna House's mission includes helping the young women earn GEDs or vocational degrees and become independent. Lauren teaches the young women creative writing, helps them get driver's licenses, takes them on outings to see plays, and in general is trying to do all she can to make their lives better.
The women, and their children, are in need of clothing, books, and toys. The children range in age from 6 months to three years and need jeans, shirts, winter jackets, and other clothing. The moms also are in need of clothing.
If you have some gently used baby or toddler-sized clothing, or would be willing to make a donation or send a gift card for a store like Target or Old Navy, the best thing is to contact Manna House directly. Contact information is here. Mention Lauren.
(She also used to work in a soup kitchen, and wrote a volume of passionate and moving poems about it, Psalms of the Dining Room.)
Please pass this on. Thanks, y'all.