Local Moms Unite for Kids Worldwide:

Mamaroneck Cares Tag Sale & Graham Clarke Benefit Concert: MAY 14

by Lisa Hamm-Greenawalt

(April 12, 2005) Inspired by the devastating tsunami of December 26, 2004, a grassroots group of Mamaroneck moms and kids called “Mamaroneck Cares” is holding a giant tag sale and benefit concert on Saturday, May 14, 2005, to raise money for kids in need in our community and the world.

“Sometimes it takes a disaster like a tsunami to make you realize how lucky you are,” explained Sue Odierna, a Mamaroneck mother of three who is one of the organizers of the tag sale. “And then you almost feel like you have to do something to help others who have not had the good fortune to live a middle-class American life, or even to have enough to eat on a daily basis.”

The tag sale will be held from 10 am to 4 pm in the auditorium of Mamaroneck United Methodist Church, 546 East Boston Post Rd., Mamaroneck, NY (just south of Applebee’s Restaurant). Family entertainer Graham Clarke will perform a benefit concert at 11 am.

The sale will feature new and gently used children’s clothing, toys and books, as well as household items donated by families – and especially children – in Larchmont and Mamaroneck. Proceeds will be split between AmeriCares, a global disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, and the Larchmont/Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force, which distributes food to local families in need. Mamaroneck United Methodist Church and its Community Nursery School are sponsors of the event.

“Because so many children were affected by the tsunami, it awakened in me a need to have my children help in some way that was active, developmentally appropriate and meaningful to them,” said Andrea Sambrook, a mother of two and another organizer. “ I hoped that as scary as my kids found the tsunami to be, helping the survivors by raising money for basic supplies would be empowering to them. I asked them to each choose one or two toys which are gently used to sell at our tag sale toward this goal."

Organizers hope other local kids will be inspired to root through their toy boxes seeking items to donate.

Kyra Greenawalt, age 7, is excited to be able to help. “I think it’s important because tsunami victims don’t have a lot of food because everything washed away in the tsunami. I’m going to give some of my toys, so if people buy them, then we’ll get the money to buy some food and water for the tsunami victims and the (early April) earthquake victims.”

"I think that our children need to realize how fortunate they are and how important it is to help those in need,” said Carol Campili, a third organizer. “My children watch me working on this tag sale event, it piques their curiosity, they ask questions and truly become involved.  That is the best education I can provide them." 

The tag sale will also feature a Children's Crafts Corner where kids can create greeting cards to send to needy children, and a bake sale, so that no one will go hungry while they're shopping.

Graham Clarke in action.

The Graham Clarke benefit concert will be held from 11-11:45 am in the Lower Church Parlor. Admission is $5, and seating is limited. Clarke entertains children and grownups in Westchester County (and beyond) with music, humor, stories and games. (More information can be found at www.grahamclarke.com.)

Clean tag sale donations in good condition will be accepted by prior arrangement Thursday and Friday evenings, May 12 and 13, at the church. Contact Andrea Sambrook for more information, at 914-698-6307 . Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to call Sue Odierna, 914-777-1437.

“Mamaroneck Cares is about doing our share and teaching our children that there’s more to life than buying, having and playing; it’s about compassion and giving,” said Ms. Odierna.

“It’s simple to write out a check to these charities to provide the financial support,” added Ms. Campili, “but when a group of people work together creatively toward this same goal, it creates a celebration of community as well."

Lisa Hamm-Greenawalt is one of the Mamaroneck Cares organizers. For directions, call Mamaroneck UMC office, (914) 698-4343.