|How We Help|
"Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might..."
High quality hand-sewn clothing and hand-constructed accessories as well as retail and custom-made items such as underwear, socks, shoes, sweaters, hat scarf and mitten sets, ponchos and winter coats are provided through the generous donations by our many volunteers. ( See photos )
In 2014, TLC ministered to the needs of more 3,500 children. However, 3,500 is only a fraction of the number in need.
Carole Franceski is TLC's founder and director. She began her work as a single volunteer in 1987 after she became aware of the rampant poverty that existed in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. That first year, she made approximately 50 dresses. Her enthusiasm for helping the poor was contagious and soon several friends volunteered to help.
Carole is a devout Christian who takes seriously the task of ministering to the needs of the poor, whether it is in her hometown or in the Appalachian Mountains. "Real love begins when nothing is expected in return," she says.
With the help of friends and some favorable media coverage, TLC began to grow. By 1991 it became incorporated and continues to grow thanks to the many volunteers who unselfishly give of their time and money.
VOLUNTEERS (See how One Little Girl helped)
Newspaper and magazine articles, as well as local television coverage, resulted in an increase in the number of volunteers. By the end of 1992, Carole had more than 200 women helping her.
With the publication of an article in Family Circle magazine in April of 1993, the number jumped to more than 500.
With the filming of two 5-minute segments on “ Sewing with Nancy ” (PBS) in 2012 it has grown to over 1,000 today!
These volunteers are spread across the United States from coast to coast and extend even into Canada. They perform a multitude of tasks including sewing dresses, pants and shirts; knitting winter hats, scarves and mittens; making accessories such as hair bows and jewelry; helping with packaging, shipping and distribution; assembling personal care kits; and assisting with management.
As the ministry grows ... as more volunteers sew, knit, and make accessories ... as the needs of more children are met, the nuts-and-bolts aspect of the work has become more complicated, demanding, and expensive.
Four major clothing shipments per year are provided to the children of Appalachia. Carole and some of her volunteers visit Appalachia once a year—usually back-to-school— to take part in a hands-on distribution. All distributions are significant, but BTS is especially so because “but for” the clothing they receive many would not have new clothing to begin the school year.
What started out as a part-time charitable project has grown into a full-time charitable mission. Carole works far more than 40 hours each week, and her home has been turned into a sewing factory, warehouse, and shipping center. Overhead costs continue to mount- costs for materials, shipping, postage, printing, travel and telephone and internet. To minimize overhead costs, Carole does not charge the Ministry for space, computer, printing and travel.
In December 2014, shipments went to nine locations: Big Clifty, Jackson and Topmost, KY; Chillicothe, and Otway, OH; Alderson, Rainelle, and Rupert, WV, and Grundy, VA. In October, Ed and Reverend Carole visited three schools in WV and had lunch with the Principals and met some of the teachers and children. This was our first visit and what a bitter sweet experience! Between 75 and 80% of the children at these schools live in homes where the income is below the poverty level. We are blessed that, through your generosity, we are able to bring a little joy into their lives.
When you become a volunteer, you will receive our Newsletter after the Easter, Back-to-School and Thanksgiving/Christmas distributions.
Will you help the needy children of Appalachia? They need you! They need to know that someone cares!!
Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”
Matthew 25: 34-36
Tender Loving Care Ministries, Inc.