Tawanda Robbins started Love in Action three years ago to remind Charlotte’s seniors and homeless that people cared about them. Thanks to support from people all across the region, she’s now able to take that mission a step further.

During Love in Action’s first event at Michaels in south Charlotte, Tawanda Robbins collected 108 cards for The Sandbox’s Evening of Believing.

Love in Action was originally started to encourage children to create and send in Valentine’s Day cards for people living in Charlotte’s senior living centers and being served by missions centers. Robbins and her team, with the help of local preschools, would distribute the cards each year – seeing the impact first-hand of their efforts.

After seeing about 6,800 cards created in February, Robbins decided to seek more partnerships and opportunities in order to spread the love further, so she called The Sandbox – a local organization that works with children who have been diagnosed with cancer or a life-threatening illness and their families. One of the group’s big events, An Evening of Believing, gives people ages 13 to 21 a chance to take part in the prom they may have missed due to illness.

Robbins hopes Love in Action can show the children attending the Sandbox’s Evening of Believing that they are not alone in their journey and there is hope.

“I thought, wouldn’t it be awesome if children could serve?” Robbins said.  “What if I could get little kids to send cards (to prom attendees) and middle and high school children to go and volunteer?”

The project’s goal is 4,000 cards, which can be made at various events through Michaels craft stores or made at home and sent to Love in Action.  Michaels at the Stonecrest at Piper Glen shopping center, 8120 Providence Road, is providing all of the materials to make cards during the events at the store, and everyone is welcome to stop by and put their hands to work.

After all 4,000 cards are complete, each card will have a handprint and the words “I Believe” written on them to be hung along the walls at Founders Hall on Sept. 27 for the prom.

“… When the kids walk in that will be the first thing that they see – those handprints will let them know that they are not in this alone,” Robbins said.

The events at Michaels will take place July 27 and Aug. 10 and 24 from noon to 5 p.m.  If people are unable to attend one of the card-making events, but still want to participate, cards can be dropped off at Michaels or mailed into Love in Action at 9715-B Rea Road #160.

Robbins is already lining up the next Love in Action project with A Child’s Place, which serves homeless students in Charlotte, for the back-to-school season.

“For A Child’s Place, we are going to collect lunch bags,” she said.  “We are going to do the lunch bags, and we will get kids to come in and color and do artwork on those bags.  It will be like a pen pal program.”

Robbins hopes to eventually see Love in Action all over the country – maybe even the world – spreading the love to those in need or who are going through a difficult time.

“We can say that it’s a simple thing, but it’s such a great thing of kindness,” she said. “It’s just what kids do, it’s who they are.”

From Charlotte Weekly, July 19, 2013

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