Holiday Helper 2010 Faq

What is the 2010 Holiday Helper?

As some of you may know, every year around the holidays we have had a little something here at MDC known as the Holiday Helper thread. It started six years ago with a simple post by Tracy and grew quickly into something quite magical – MDC moms helping MDC moms. We really appreciate the huge efforts of Tracy, Gemini, SpatulaGirl, JustVanessa, DreamsInDigital and Maluhia and many others to make things work in past years.

Last year’s stats:
USA: 73
Canada: 2

This year, the need throughout the community here on MDC is greater than ever. Many more families are hurting financially. We feel so blessed to be surrounded by members who care so deeply for each other and are glad to provide a forum where you can help one another.

This year we’ve got new and returning volunteers facilitating your Holiday Helper, they are:

2010 Facilitators:

~Katie~ – Coordinator
Maluhia – Assistant coordinator
TiredX2 – MIN central contact person
FullofGrace – Assistant coordinator/Tech Support
weliveintheforest – Canada FIN
* baby clothing/outerwear (NB-24M) –
justKate
* cloth diapers and gear/carseats – cristeen
* maternity/birth supplies – DeerMother
* kids outerwear – carmel23SleeplessMommy
* kids clothing (2T+) – cyrusmamaOkiMom
* baby and kids shoes – tracymom1
* toys – GardenStream - DeerMother
* books – changingseasons
* adult outerwear/shoes/boots – weliveintheforest
* adult clothing – Theoretica

Much love and peace to everyone throughout the holiday season and into the new year.

What are the Rules & Guidelines for the HH Forum?
This forum will be moderated and only threads started by the facilitators will be approved. Please do not start new threads in this forum or they will be deleted without notice.

We do ask that you remember the MDC User Agreement when posting here, and please note that we can not allow:
* Auctions
* Raffles
* Sales or solicitations

Please DO NOT spam forums to spread the word. There will be one moving thread that will float randomly from forum to forum. See if you can find it. Bump it up! Please DO use your signature to advertise that the Holiday Helper is up and running again this year.

How do I put Holiday Helper in my signature?
To get the word out about the Holiday Helper, you may ‘advertise it’ by directing members to the HH forum in your signature. (example: Please Help A Family in Need: Check out the Holiday Helper Forum) Please do not post or advertise the Holiday Helper in posts/threads on the boards. Those posts will be removed without notice. Please do not LINK to the HH Thread as links are no longer allowed in signatures without a business signature. Also – feel free to put the non-linking but very fun Holiday Helper smile into your signature ! The code for this year’s HH smilie is : hh. You will need to remove the space between the colon and the hh to get the smilie to appear in your signature.

Can HH help me with shipping costs?
In the past we have had a "shipping fairy." This year, unfortunately, there are no funds available for the shipping fairy other than any funds donated by the community. We are counting on each other. If you are able to donate funds, we will gratefully accept them via Paypal to [account closed] To minimize shipping costs, we can also work with you to find the nearest Family in Need for what you have available. There are also several sizes of flat rate priority mail boxes, which allow you to know shipping costs in advance with no weighing – check ahead here and fill up a flat rate box! Please PM if you are in need of shipping fairy help.

How Can I Donate and What is a HHDDC?
An HHDDC is the Holiday Helper version of a DDDDC: "Holiday Help Done Dirt Cheap." For $3.00 sent via Paypal, a customized tag/saying will be placed under your username that will hyperlink to the HH forum. With a small donation ($3.00), you will be helping MDC Families in Need. To get your own HHDDC or place one for a friend, please send Paypal to:
[email protected]

100% of the proceeds will go to help FINs! PLEASE DO NOT SEND HHDDCs DIRECTLY THROUGH the MDC SOFTWARE.

Why Isn’t My Thread Showing Up?
As stated in the intro, only threads started by organizers will be approved. You can reply to an ongoing thread with your question or PM one of this year’s facilitators.

FAMILIES IN NEED
Am I eligible to be a family in need (FIN)?
* FIN must have "significant financial need"
* FIN must have 1000 posts as of October 4th, 2010 and 1 year of consistently active membership from October 4th, 2009 to October 4th, 2010.
* FIN sign up will begin NOON EST MONDAY October 4th, and the first 100 completed forms will be chosen with the next 50 held aside for round two if we have enough families in "needs met."
* Fully completed forms, including first and last name will be given priority.

How can I sign up to be a Family In Need (FIN)?
FIN sign up will begin at NOON EST Monday, October 4th and must be received by Friday, October 8th. You can sign up by PM’ing Abimommy, with the filled out 2010 HOLIDAY HELPER APPLICATION form (please copy and paste the form below) she will then forward it to the appropriate helper. Applications will be dealt with on a first come first-served basis. Please be sure to list both first and last name and physical mailing address. Completed forms will be given priority.

 

Quote:
2010 HOLIDAY HELPER APPLICATION FORM

MDC user name:
Full Name:
Physical Shipping Address:
email address:
What is the best way to get a hold of you quickly if our central contact person has a question that is time sensitive? (email, PM, phone number)

What is your family situation? (this portion will be published without names for all to see, please use terms such as "DD1" instead of names to help keep HH anonymous)
Any allergies or sensitivities in the family? (Cat, dog, smoke)
Please prioritize the top 3 needs of your family: (this can not include direct financial help such as bills paid)
*
*
*
Which holiday do you celebrate?

Children:

Pregnancy, if applicable
due date: month, year
Gender: male/female/surprise
clothing needed:
diapers needed:
other:

Child #1:
Age and gender:
Clothing needed (size, type)
Coat needed?
Hats/gloves needed?
Shoes/boots needed? (size, type)
Toy preferences:
Book preferences:

Child #2:
(etc.)

Adult #1:
Needs:

Adult #2:
Needs:

What can I expect to receive as a FIN in 2009?
The HH program will do its best to help out with gently used toys, clothing, coats, diapers etc – especially for younger children. If you need adult clothing or coats, please let us know – however much more children’s clothing is available than adult clothing. Last year, we were able to provide gift cards to about half of FIN. This year, we do not expect to have many gift cards donated. We will be moving families to "needs met" when we have met the basic clothing, toy and diaper needs of children, to the best of our ability.

Can you help me with my mortgage, tuition, heating bill, etc?
No, because our helpers are also struggling we’ve removed this portion from Holiday Helper. Please leave these requests out of your family statement and needs listed. We have a sticky listing other sources of assistance.

Who will see my FIN information?
For added privacy and security, this year your username will only be available to two MDC Administrators in green (abimommy & AdinaL) and four MDC Holiday Helper Moderators in purple (~Katie~, Maluhia, fullofgrace, TiredX2). In an effort to keep user names private, we ask that you communicate to the central contact person and HH moderators. Your list of needs and family statement will be posted in the HH forum for everyone to see, along with your FIN number and state or province of residence. Your name and address will be released to helpers who offer to send items to you.

What about Thank Yous?
As in the past, Thanking Helpers is not required but it is a much appreciated step that our MINs can take to warm the hearts of Helper Mamas. This year we will be emailing a “Thank You” login to the MINs and they will be able to post their own Thank You notes.

Who do I contact if I need to update or change my profile information?
We will be using a central contact person this year in order to keep user names private. You may PM TiredX2 if you have questions or concerns related to your profile information or any of the HH moderators if it is urgent.

HOLIDAY HELPERS
How can I be a helper?
First, make a list of what you have available. A gently used outgrown children’s coat? Gently used toys or books? Are you willing to go shopping to pick out a special gift for a young child? Check the " master needs list" for each category, or PM one of the facilitators in the list below. Any facilitator can take care of your entire list, for example if you have both toys and clothing please PM just one facilitator (update example with names)

2010 Facilitators:

~Katie~ – Coordinator
Maluhia – Assistant coordinator
TiredX2 – MIN central contact person
FullofGrace – Assistant coordinator/Tech Support
weliveintheforest – Canada FIN
* baby clothing/outerwear (NB-24M) – justKate
* cloth diapers and gear/carseats – cristeen
* maternity/birth supplies – DeerMother
* kids outerwear – carmel23SleeplessMommy
* kids clothing (2T+) – cyrusmamaOkiMom
* baby and kids shoes – tracymom1
* toys – GardenStreamDeerMother
* books – changingseasons
* adult outerwear/shoes/boots – weliveintheforest
* adult clothing – Theoretica

What does gently used mean?
In general, clothing should be freshly washed and free from stains and holes. Toys should be complete and/or usable. Please read this post to better understand what we mean when we ask for Gently Used Items.

Where is the off-MDC Database?
This year we will continue to host everything on MDC rather than offsite. The Holiday Helper Forum has threads with needs lists for Diapers, Coats, Toys, Clothing, etc. We will also feature a few families in need at a time, each with their own thread.

Who do we PM about donating extra PayPal?
Maybe you have a few dollars in your PayPal account. Maybe it is just a bit of spare change. If twenty people send us their spare PayPal change or a few dollars that is a gift certificate for a Mom-In-Need!

You don’t even need to PM anyone! Just send your PayPal donations to:
[email protected]

All money received to this account will go to helping MDC MIN.

If you have any further questions regarding eligibility or rules please PM abimommy.

When PMing offerings to our Facilitators please give 24-48 hours to update FIN profile information and to reply to questions you may have – we hope to be very busy spreading the joy!