CORTLAND - A bi-annual sale organized by a group of local women focuses on helping families with children while also helping organizations and agencies that benefit children.
Donna Pate, creator/ organizer of the local Lil'Lambs event held at Cortland United Methodist Church in May and October, said she borrowed the idea from Church of the Lakes in Canton.
"They do a much bigger event. Ours is smaller but still offers clothes, toys, games and books for children," she said.
"Our philosophy is you bring it and we sell it," she said.
Pate said the women who organize the event do not keep any of the money. It goes back into the community to help different charities.
"People appreciate what we do. We want to help families both sell and buy. We hold the sale the first week in May and then again in October," she said noting that people with children need new clothes since the children outgrow them and toys so quickly.
Money raised from the event has helped Cortland Area Cares, Bella Women's Center, Beatitude House, Warren Family Mission, Someplace Safe and the local summer enrichment program for special-needs adults.
The sale raises between $3,000 to $4,000 on average.
This year $500 was given to the summer enrichment program, $100 to the Salvation Army and $1,200 worth of items to the Bella Women's Center.
"We have also made donations to the mission which uses the money for food they need," Pate said.
Pate said Lil' Lambs was started to help young families, especially parents and grandparents.
"This is also a way for us to open up our church to the community and bring people and children in," Pate said.
Pate said many items are also taken by the church on mission trips.
The women who help at the event are known as "Ewer Helpers."
Angela Cameron, children's program coordinator at Someplace Safe, sent a thank you to Lil'Lambs for the recent donation to the shelter.
Cameron said the donation excited the children as they now have a television, stuffed animals and musical instruments.
"Thank you for remembering the children at Someplace Safe," she wrote. "This not only made a difference to the children it also made a big difference to the moms as well. ... It's a good feeling to see the smiles on the children's faces during tough times."