JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Unfortunately, there are children living in Northeast Florida who suffer abuse, neglect or personal tragedy. For their own protection, the Florida Department of Children and Families sometimes must take these children from their homes on a moment’s notice with only the clothes on their backs.
The volunteers at Miriam’s Basket in Clay County work to make a difference by intervening during these critical times and giving these children clothing, shoes, socks, pajamas, underwear and coats.
The very first child they helped in 2011 was a 5-year-old girl. Her mother dropped her off with a relative to babysit and never returned.
That year, Miriam’s Basket helped four children by providing them clothing.
“Last year, they helped 365,” said the charity's founder, Linda Grabowski. “Since we started, we have provided clothes for more than 1,900 children.”
In each care package for these children they put five complete outfits, shoes, pajamas, five new pairs of socks, underwear and, depending on the season, coats and sweaters.
“Each bag also contains a lot of love,” Grabowski said.
“We don’t know all the particulars of their situations, but we do know something has gone terribly wrong for them to be removed from their homes," Grabowski said. “We know they are children in crisis who deserve to have the best we can possibly give to help them on their journey into safety, restoration and recovery."
Because of their work helping children in our community, WJXT honors Grabowski and Miriam's Basket with our Positively Jax award for January.
Miriam’s Basket relies on volunteers and donations. If you’d like to help, find out more information at MiriamsBasket.org .