Local freshman donated Baskets of Hope to abuse survivors for Easter

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 5/12/19

A local Bradley Central High School freshman with a big heart decided to bring some cheer to the residents of Harbor Safe House through Baskets of Hope.

She hopes to continue the program in …

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Local freshman donated Baskets of Hope to abuse survivors for Easter

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A local Bradley Central High School freshman with a big heart decided to bring some cheer to the residents of Harbor Safe House through Baskets of Hope.

She hopes to continue the program in coming years.

Harbor Safe House provides shelter for women needing to get out of dangerous situations involving domestic and sexual abuse. The safe house is an extension of the Family Violence Program under the Family Resource Agency.

Emma Jane White  decided for Easter this year, she didn’t want to receive a basket full of candy; instead, she wanted to give baskets filled with hope. She partnered with her mother, Laura, to collect donations of hygiene products to fill baskets. Each basket was filled to the brim, then given to a woman at Harbor Safe House to make the time they spend there more comfortable.

The 14-year-old said she enjoys helping others, and felt led to help someone this Easter. She chose Harbor Safe House because of Laura’s connection with the organization.

Previously serving in social work, Laura became familiar with nonprofits like Harbor Safe House, and the good they do in communities. She suggested  the lucky recipient of Baskets of Hope.

Laura served on the Family Resource Agency board, where she met its director Angie Benefield.

“The items donated are mostly toiletry items. Then we had some money donations for the cause as well, so we’re using those funds to  buy bigger things that wouldn’t normally fit in the baskets, like cleaning supplies,” Emma Jane said.

All in all, 26 baskets were made, each going to a different resident of Harbor Safe House. Baskets were filled with everything from deodorant and hand soap to toothpaste, shower gel and shampoo.

Since Harbor Safe House is a place for recovery from abuse, its location is confidential, as is its residents.

Emma Jane and Laura didn’t get to meet any of the baskets’ recipients, but are thankful they’re going to people in genuine need.

“Angie Benefield was absolutely thrilled when I told her Emma Jane’s idea,” Laura said.

This marks the first time for Emma Jane to do such a philanthropic project. 

All of the products included in the baskets were collected exclusively through community donations. Laura initially posted information about Baskets of Hope on her personal social media pages, and immediately started getting donations.

“We had people contact us that we’d never met before. A lady from California did a Walmart donation, and I just went and picked it up at the store. Another lady who lives in Athens, Tennessee, just sent us a check in the mail,” Laura added.

Laura said she expected family and friends to help out, but was astounded by the sheer amount of strangers who helped as well.

When she grows up, Emma Jane is considering being either a corporate lawyer or author, whichever comes first.

“To see the heart of my child wanting to give back to the community was just amazing. She should be focused on shopping, but she’s caring about others.  I’m so proud,” Laura said.

The collection took place until April 30, when Emma Jane gave the baskets to Benefield to distribute to Harbor House’s residents. 

For further information on the project, contact Laura through her personal Facebook.


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