Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring 2012 Calera AOK Review

Because of the incredible generosity of hundreds throughout Shelby and Jefferson county and even throughout the southeast, AOK was able to give over 500 people more than 20,000 items of clothing as well as thousands of other toys, household & miscellaneous items. By altering the number of people admitted at a time our ability to serve those in need was greatly improved. Allowing us to focus on helping each person find exactly what they needed. We limited the amount of time each group was able to shop to 30 minutes, but anyone still in need of items was encouraged to put their first items in their car and return to the line for a second opportunity to shop.

The remaining items were given to urban missions in Birmingham where hundreds of others will be blessed by the generosity of our community. Jason Williams, Briarwood Presbyterian Church's urban pastor to Fairfield, took all the clothing remaining in the men's department to a re-entry ministry called Shepherd's Fold in Birmingham. The clothing will be used to help equip men re-entering society from the prison system with needed items for job interviews and daily life.

We had over 135 volunteers during the final week of preparation and the giveaway. The desire of our community to give freely of their time, money and belongings is absolutely breathtaking! We were thrilled to welcome many new volunteers including groups from the University of Montevallo Baptist Student Ministry, youth groups from Chelsea and Calera as well as many members who have been with AOK for years. The local businesses helped tremendously by providing needed supplies. These sponsors also helped get the word out regarding the giveaway.

Calera AOK has a goal of collecting over 1000 stuffed animals between now and the Calera Christmas Parade in December. These stuffed animals will be used to give as gifts to the children along the parade route. AOK used the stuffed animals in the 2011 parade to help remind folks of the upcoming Spring Give Away. A card with the giveaway details is attached to each stuffed animal in hopes that those with a need will continue to be reached. If you have stuffed animals you would like to contribute please contact us at helpaok@gmail.com or 281-1975.

Even after the big event AOK continues to receive calls from those who either were unable to attend the giveaway or were not able to find exactly what they needed. What began as a once a year winter coat give away has now turned into a year round opportunity to help our neighbors in need. God has always provided all that was needed, He will continue to provide - we are expectant of what He will do next & how He will use Calera Acts of Kindness in the future.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Share throughout the Hispanic Community

Do you have contacts in the hispanic community? Would you help us share the news about Calera Acts of Kindness Clothing Give Away this Saturday, March 3rd - it begins at 8am at the Calera National Guard Armory! Help us get the word out - we can get you flyers if you need them - just email us at helpaok@gmail.com or call 281-1975

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thankful for our Partners! Support them!


Our History

In the fall of 2005, Jenny Avery felt that God was laying a burden on her heart to meet a very basic need. She saw that there was a need in her community for winter coats. Out of this burden, a free coat give away was started. She recruited a few friends and fellow Calera neighbors, together Avery, Ellie Harrington and Sue Duncan planned the first give away. Through word of mouth, they received and gave away between seventy five and one hundred coats at the old Calera Library Annex
The following year, Duncan came up with the group’s name, Calera Community Acts of Kindness (AOK). The volunteers in 2006 increased to ten and approximately two hundred people were able to received coats and other winter clothing. This growth necessitated a move to a larger facility; in 2007 the giveaway was moved to the Calera Community Center.
Each year those volunteering grew. Their efforts were blessed with an abundance of clothes, with that increase the need of our community also grew. In 2010, the amazing leadership at the Calera National Guard invited us to use the National Guard Armory for our fall giveaway. It October of 2010, 856 people were blessed by the generous giving of clothing by hundreds in our community and through-out Shelby, Jefferson and Chilton Counties.

The City of Calera has always been an incredible supporter of this community service group. In March 2011, the Mayor and City Council declared March 5, 2011 as “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Day”. Through their declaration the entire city was encouraged to help their neighbors in need.
Calera AOK is no longer just a twice a year clothing give away. We receive calls on a regular basis from those in need. Whether here in Calera when a family’s home burned, or around the world when a Tsunami hit Japan, or back home when the State of Alabama was struck by a horrific string of tornadoes, or simply meeting the needs of a hard working mama who needed firewood, clothing and a few things to give her children for Christmas, Calera Acts of Kindness recognizes that we all are subject to hard times – we desire to wrap our arms around our neighbors during times of hardship.

Calera Acts of Kindness does not have nonprofit status. We are simply a group of individuals who since 2005 have come together to meet the clothing needs of those in our area who are struggling. We are not a 501C3, just neighbors helping neighbors throughout the year with the generous giving of time and needed supplies by hundreds of kindhearted citizens, fantastic companies, compassionate churches and our dedicated local government.
From friends, neighbors, or even to those we will never meet, we seek to meet the most basic of needs. Whether the need is right here or around the world, we desire to tangibly extend the love of Christ to those we serve, as well as those we work alongside.

For more information contact us at helpaok@gmail.com or call 205-281-1975 –
Find Calera Acts of Kindness Clothing Give Away on Facebook at www.facebook.com/caleraaok or on Twitter @caleraaok

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just around the corner!

This year's spring AOK will be here next week!

Because of your kindness we are able to facilitate giving clothing to hundreds of people! Now's the time, start cleaning those closets and spreading the news to those you know- both those in need and those who are able to give and volunteer!

We have our final planning meeting at the Calera Library this TUESDAY night, February 21st at 7pm. We welcome new volunteers! We have such a wonderful time together all while working hard! Come be a part of this amazing group!

Need info or would you like to volunteer? Contact us at helpaok@gmail.com