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Last updated: May 10. 2014 1:56PM - 545 Views
By - jbreger@civitasmedia.com



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The Bryan County United Way and Hope Chest are celebrating Bryan County mothers with a reminder that they are here to help and they have stuff to do it.


The Hope Chest is a local clothing and supply bank designed to help low-income families in the area. The Hope Chest is a partner of the Bryan County United Way.


United Way partners also have access to partnerships with a program called Good360, a program that evolved from a United Way project to partner with businesses to offer brand new items to families in need.


As success of the program called “Gifts in Kind,” at the time grew, the program branched out to become its own organization to further aid charitable organizations across the country.


This organization connects nonprofits with stores that are willing to donate out of season, out of date or overstocked items for free or reduced prices.


The Hope Chest wants to recognize one business in particular during this time of celebrating mothers. Buy Buy Baby is a high- end baby supply store that provides thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise to the Hope Chest every year.


“We get so many nice things,” said Hope Chest Director Leticia Burkhalter.


From simple supplies, such as bibs and bottles to rare cradles with speakers built in, Buy Buy Baby donates several items that help mothers.


“It doesn’t matter if you are a mother of means or a struggling mom, you want what’s best for your baby,” said Burkhalter.


United Way Director Pam Robinson said, “It’s just a little something neat, a little something special.”


She commented how especially low-income working families need a little help and that it is nice to give them high-quality items.


“It has made a huge difference,” said Burkhalter. Robinson and Burkhalter reflected on the early days of the Hope Chest and the need of local mothers.


With the help of the Buy Buy Baby donations and the Indian Nation Wholesale who picks up the donations and delivers them to the Hope chest, this need is being met.


Burkhalter said she estimates about 40 to 50 mothers come in each week to receive help. She said it is the goal of the Hope Chest to help these moms without making them feel bad or judged.


She wants to remind mothers that the Hope Chest is here to help. She said she recognizes the work and struggles of a mom and wants them to know they can ask for help.


The Hope Chest is located at 501 N.E. 4th Ave. in Durant and is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment.


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