Charity Announcement: Adopt-a-Shelter is Dec. 3

Submitted by Seth on November 21st, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Ed-Seth: Throwing this up front -- I still need a photographer.

 Click for Genesis House Wish ListClick for Booth Shelter Wish List

Hello givers and give-ettes. It's that time of year again when I hit you up to help this event I help with. This time it's with Amazon Wish Lists.

Adopt-a-Shelter is a one-day event at two Detroit homeless shelters where we give the clients a Christmas party and allow the parents to "shop" for donated gifts worth $10 to $20. The shelters are the Booth Evangeline (the larger, for families), and Genesis House II (smaller, for women & children).

Activities for the kids include a pizza party, Santa Claus, a teen game room, face-painting, artwork, dancing, and (at Booth) the opportunity to become one of those people in Metro-Detroit who can time_to_help_logo_1.15.2010opine on the subject of Mitch Albom's height in real life. Most of the activities are a diversion for the kids while their parents…

Shop in a gift room filled with donated, unwrapped gifts. The parents can each select a certain number of gifts for themselves and their family members (this is why they have to be unwrapped). Anything left over goes to the shelters—every year we have a ton left over, and every year they've managed to give it all away in a few months after we leave.

What You Can Do

We're looking for 1) Activity Help, 2) Gift Donations, and 3) Volunteers.

1. Activities Assistance:

Photographer - We have a Santa, but I need a PHOTOGRAPHER for the Booth site, preferably someone who does this professionally. We accept pro bono but if you have pay requirements you can let me know what they are. If you have a way to print the photos, that's key (we tried a photo printer last year but one was way too slow—if you know a better way to do it please share). Between all the middle age Jewish ladies (read: have Bar Mitzvah-age kids) and the local press coverage 5595-T(Mitch will mention with donors on his radio show), I'm pretty sure you'll get some business out of it. E-mail me.

Teen Game Room Captain – I've done it for years. You organize events for between 8 and 25 teens. There's a table hockey system, and a bunch of board games there but in the past we've organized Jeopardy-like games, or brought in TVs and videogame systems and had an all-out Madden-off.

Other activity leaders: Teen dance group who can teach some kids their moves. Manicure room. Caricatures. Food setup. People who did these last year have been contacted but haven't said yes or no yet.


Snacks and stuff: Vendors, we need help in our efforts to find donations of food including bagels, donuts, milk, orange juice and/or other breakfast confections for the morning meal.

2. Gift Donations

Gift donations should be unwrapped, tasteful, and between $15-$20. Stuff that needs batteries should come with batteries. No guns, no swords, no violent comic books. Historically we tend to fall short with stuff for young moms.

  • AGE RANGE: The age of the children range from Newborn to 17 years old, with most of the children being between the ages of 4-11 years old.
  • SIZES: A variety of sizes ranging from newborn to 3X are needed. The larger sizes (2X and 3X are for girls.)
  • TOYS: Age-appropriate toys and educational toys are needed.
  • TOILETRIES: All types of toiletries are needed, except NOTHING with ALCOHOL in it. Shampoo, Conditioner, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Body Lotion, Women’s Deodorant, Body Wash, Soap, Washcloths, Towels.

If you would like to donate, I have set up an Amazon wish list for either site. You don't have to order what's on there – they're ideas. Links:


If you can't find something you want, buy something else and ship to that address. Or check back – we're still updating it.

Infant/Toddler Child (4-12 years) Teen Parent
Diapers Underwear Underwear Underwear
Sleepers Sweat suits Sweat suits Sweat suits
Onesies Socks Socks Purses
Socks Hats Hats Socks
Hats/mittens Mittens Mittens Hats
Coats Coats Coats Mittens
  $15 Gift certificates for Payless shoes $15 Gift certificates for Payless shoes Coats
  Board games Board games $15 Gift certificates for Payless shoes
  Stuffed animals Radio walkman Resume paper and envelopes
  Activity books Jewelry kits Radio walkman
  Puzzles Puzzles Crossword puzzles
  Dolls Books Books
  Books Notebooks/pens  
  Toy cars/trucks    

3.) Volunteer

The Genesis House site has enough volunteers but we can always use more at the Booth Evangeline site. This site is organized by Mitch Albom's Time to Help program; he and Ken Brown will be there:

  • Time: 8:30 – noon
  • Date: Dec. 3, 2011
  • Location: Booth Evangeline Salvation Army, 20775 Pembroke Ave., Detroit, MI  48219. Same spot as last year. Parking is available at the school next door.
  • To sign up: Visit the Time to Help volunteer sign-up page. (Note: it should be up in a few days. You can also e-mail me and I'll remind you when it's up).

Can't I Just Give You Money?

This is not the preferred option for me. Last year I set up a Paypal account and then spent three times as much as I received and I don't like taking your money. If you can't find something on the Amazon list above, donate to S.A.Y. Detroit, the umbrella organization for Detroit charities, and specify in the comments what it's for.