Down Etc is sharing its love in the way it knows best by donating its Hug It Like You Love It!® Heart Pillows to Heartfelt Tidbits, a grassroots organization whose mission is to provide a long welcome to refugees and immigrants in Southwest Ohio. They are an inaugural member of Hello Neighbor Network that joins nine similar women-led organizations across the United States. Another member of the Hello Neighbor Network is Miry's List, which is located south of Down Etc in Los Angeles. These women came together after recognizing how similar their efforts and passion were for our newest neighbors arriving from various countries. By joining forces, they can leverage each other's diverse strengths and their collaboration provides a stronger advocacy voice.
Sheryl Rajbhandari is the Executive Director of HT, which provides language, citizenship, and job readiness classes, along with tutoring, family mentorship, and sewing and art programs. When the pandemic arrived and the Governor of Ohio issued a stay-at-home order, Sheryl and HT recognized the host of issues their families would face and went into action. The first obstacle was explaining a stay-at-home order. This was accomplished by HT’s teachers reaching out to their students one-by-one. The second hurdle, securing HT’s families necessary food and essentials, required more coordination and a lot more volunteers.
The Team at Down Etc has deep connections with HT and Cincinnati. They were the very first donor to HT in 2008, providing HT with over $9,000 in bedding from their showroom. Down Etc believes a good night’s sleep is critical to health and wellness and that everyone, particularly kids, should have a special pillow. When the Team learned of some of the efforts of HT and its volunteers, Down Etc offered its down and feather Hug It Like You Love It!® Heart Pillow in bright fuschia poly dupioni. Coincidentally, pink is one of HT’s key colors.
Sheryl has added the hearts to the deliveries of necessities to the families, including one family from Eritrea who recently lost everything to a fire in their apartment building. Sheryl shared, “The kids were so excited to see the pillows. The young boy told me it was the best day ever. The girls said even before the fire they never had something so soft or beautiful.” She also delivered hearts to two young girls who were visiting the local food pantry. “Their family has been struggling with the stress of our current administration and now COVID. As you can see from the photo, they immediately fell in love with them.” Heartfelt Tidbits is "Changing the lives of local refugees and immigrants a tidbit at a time." Down Etc is bringing a hug and a great night’s sleep to one person at a time.