July 8, 2019 - Since ownership of MAD changed hands in March, we have been having a hard time fulfilling all the needs of the homeless and those in need when it comes to food. We reached out to Collinsville Food Pantry and they not only helped us with clothes but they donated dog food and fresh produce! We're now so very fortunate to be weekly recipients of the Pantry now and we're able to give fresh produce to those we help! Thank you so much, Collinsville Food Pantry! You are blessing to the whole community!
July 7, 2019 - We received a special blessing from Alice Z, founder of Donate4PAWS! She saw that we'd been helping Red & Roscoe at the homeless camp and offered to help us with food! They're big, growing boys & going through food quickly so this was much needed & deeply appreciated! Rex, a 9 year old Lab who'd formerly lived in the homeless camp in East St. Louis lives at this camp now, too. He & his sister Sissy were fostered by a kind-hearted Pastor when their owners moved to a motel, but he needed to have surgery and couldn't care for the two big dogs anymore so we found rescue for them. Sissy was adopted by a loving family and Rex was adopted back to his former owner last week when they left the motel and started living at the new homeless camp, and he'll will benefit from this, too! On behalf of our canine buddies, thank you for making a difference for the dogs of the homeless! Check out Donate4PAWS Facebook page & website. Their mission is to collect & supply items desperately needed at local shelters & rescues and they work as a network to educate & inform people about the issues of animals in need. If you want to donate to their cause or volunteer, they would love your help.
December 1, 2018 - Students were in very giving mood this holiday season! The kids at St. John Neumann Catholic School in Maryville had collected a huge load of socks for those in need and donated them to MAD! Thanks to these great kids & their giving hearts, many people in need now have warm, dry feet! We love when kids & teens get involved and become difference makers! They're inspirations to others kids and warms our hearts!
June 7, 2019 - Every time we stop at Mady's Gaming Parlor in Troy to pick up donations, we are blessed with these mats! The kind ladies at Bethel Baptist Church in Troy have a program called Bags to Mats. They spend hours making mats out of plastic bags for our homeless friends and they are truly a labor of love! The mats are soft & comfortable and help keep our homeless friends from laying or sitting directly on the ground, which means so much to them. The ladies of the Bags to Mats program meet on Tuesdays from 5pm-8pm at the Tri-Township Library in Troy so join them if you'd like to make a difference like this. We love opening the door of the donation trailer at Mady's and seeing the mats! Thank you so very much for these!
August 26, 2018 - A former Board Member was friends with an employee of Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in O'Fallon, MO and she'd seen how hard Making A Difference worked to feed the homeless and she wanted to help bring more nutrition to their lives. A great relationship started that summer as Fresh Thyme started donating a huge quantity of various frozen meats to us twice monthly, so much that we needed to have a deep-freezer donated! Fresh Thyme also donates other food too, like tomatoes & bread. The camp residents, famlies in need and all of us at MAD are so grateful & appreciative of this special blessing!
August 5, 2019 - Alton Main Street held another Pop-up Clothes Swap at the Mineral Springs Mall. Shoppers brought clothes, shoes & accessories to swap and they paid $5 for all the clothes, shoes & accessories they wanted, and if they came empty handed, they paid $10 for everything they bought! Who can pass that up? They donated 85.6lbs of clothes to us that will make a huge difference to those we help! We are incredibly thankful for this donation and to them for thinking of us again!
January 5, 2019 - A special young girl named Bristol decided to ask for donations for our unhoused brothers and sisters instead of gifts for her birthday. Her friends & family were happy to help this little difference maker and she collected scarves, hats, gloves & mittens & personal hygiene products. Bristol also told us we will be receiving a huge supply of soap and hand sanitizer soon. What an awesome young lady with a very giving heart! Thank you so very much!
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August 1, 2019 - Vieregge Small Group at First Baptist Church Maryville, a group of young families with children, have monthly service projects and they choose Making A Difference for the month of July! They collected 40 cases of water plus 10 one-gallon jugs for our displaced friends! Emily P, who we first came in contact with in June when she & her Mother bought a bunch of new shoes at Payless & donated them to us, collected it all in her home and helped fill our Blessing Bus! Thank you so much Emily, Vieregge Small Group and First Baptist Church Maryville for this special donation!
September 11, 2018 - Our friends at Highland Evangelical United Church of Christ surprised us with a wonderful donation! They made 100 blessing backpacks filled with much needed items such as hygiene kits, toiletries, snacks, socks & basic necessities! We love it when our community gets together to help make a difference! If your church or group would like to hold a donation drive or collect items for the needy, displaced and those we serve on the streets, please contact us.
We've received many special blessings! Sometimes we get them out of the blue and are completely surprised, sometimes we are in desperate need and not sure how to fulfill a need, then a generous & caring business, group or person steps up and makes a difference. This page is dedicated to those special donations and the caring hearts who went out of their way to help us and those in need. We couldn't do this without them!
November 28, 2018 - The awesome kids from Rockwood District show what making a difference is all about! Last year they collected socks for our homeless friends, and did it again this year with the goal of 1,000 pairs and collected over 1,500! Watch the video about these Holiday Heroes and see how big their hearts are!
March 18, 2019 - The Youth Group at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Collinsville is such an inspiring group of young men & women! They collected donation for our homeless friends, made cards for them and also went shopping! We appreciate them and all of their dedication helping us make this world a better place for those in need and the less fortunate!
December 4, 2018 - Kids kept collecting and donating! We picked up the huge donations of socks at Uthoff Valley Elementary where their students shattered last years record and collected over 2,250 pairs of socks for our homeless brothers and sisters with their Sock It To Me Campaign. The 5th grade class collected the most socks and earned an extra long recess and the Thursday before Christmas was designated as school-wide pajama day! Big thanks to these special students for making a huge difference!
March 23, 2019 - Our friends at Missing & Homeless were blessed with a truckload of brand new jogging pants, sweaters & women's underwear that they share with us! Many homeless people have been reunited with their loved ones thanks to Robin and her amazing group. Unfortunately, we didn't get photos of this amazingdonation but appreciate it dearly!
September 13, 2018 - Then, God blessed us with a package from Bikers For Christ in Southern Texas! They sent us 120 Personal Dignity Kits that contained a hand towel, washcloth, comb, fingernail clipper or nail file, bar of soap, toothbrush & toothpaste, disposable razor, deodorant & shampoo from Midwest Mission Distribution Center that helped so many of our homeless brothers & sisters in need! Big thanks to Denny Roberts, aka Rooster, who rides his motorcycle in the St. Louis and Texas areas, for arranging this. He pulls over & talks to homeless individuals and asks if they'd like a kit. Once they're done talking, he asks if he can pray with them in order to send them off with God's blessing. He's definitely a Difference Maker in this world!
December 1, 2018 - The Hooloo's at North Junior High School aka Dorris Intermediate School collected donations again this year including a massive amount of socks, gloves, winter hats, clothes & snacks! We didn't get photos this time but promise to next year if they help again!
March 20, 2019 - We're sending a huge shout out and many thanks to The Youth Group at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Collinsville and our friend Paula. A resident that lived at the Trenton Cila, a Community Integrated Living Arrangement for the intellectually disabled, passed away unexpectedly in January and these amazing teens dropped a huge donation in their honor. We appreciate their support so much and love the giving hearts of these young Difference Makers!
September 13, 2018 - Today was a day that filled our hearts! We received a few donations, including our biggest food donation yet! Meals For A Million provided us with a huge amount of cases of nutritional meals in sealed pouches that filled up both of our shuttle buses! Each pouch provided a complete meal for six children or four adults and contained rice & beans, macaroni & cheese, tomato & pasta, and cinnamon apple instant oatmeal! We were able to feed so many people with this and bring many smiles to their faces, including ours with this special blessing! What a difference they made! Thank you doesn't even begin to cover how grateful we were!
November 13, 2018 - Best Hometown Bankin Collinsville believes in our community and likes to help! They held a donation drive and made a Caring Tree out of winter supplies like hats, coats, gloves & scarves for all of the homeless & needy people we serve! What a fun idea that benefited so many!
August 2, 2019 - We make different types of Blessing Bags to pass out to the homeless and hygiene bags are one of the most needed. We put out a request for washcloths and Abby M sent us money to buy some, and we were able to make 54 hygine bags because of her. Betty D also saw our request and donating 24 soft & fluffy washclothes so we could make more, which gave us a total of 78! Thank you both so much for making a difference for our homeless friends! Because of your generosity, 78 people have something special that many of us take for granted and it means so much to them, and to us! We can't help those in need without donations like this!
November 22, 2018 - Cody Long of Safeway Tree Service started a coat drive for Making A Difference and donated $100 to fill up the gas tanks of our shuttle buses! We didn't get a photo but wanted to include them because as a non-profit that runs on donations, we couldn't do this without special businesses like this!
July 25, 2019 - We had been struggling to fill Blessing Boxes this month and we contacted Pastor Ron of Alpha & Omega Church. He made a big difference for us and everyone we help when he sent us a check so we could buy food for the Blessing Boxes. Thank you, Pastor Ron! Your donation was truly a blessing!
December 19, 2018 - Many thanks to our friends at Bethel Baptist Church in Troy for all of these awesome donations! In the first photo, there's mats made out of plastic bags that the wonderful ladies at the church make! They are so helpful for our homeless friends who have to sleep on the ground.
April 13, 2019 - Two organizations have been invaluable to us and we want to thank them for staying on with the new ownership of MAD! Maryville Outreach Center is one, they have a great thrift shop there called Grandma's Attic, and our Anonymous Donor a few towns over. These two donors always have donations for us, from bags of clothes & special items like prom dresses to food like Little Caesars pizzas, bread, pastries, canned goods, snacks, milk & juices. We usually take the pizzas, bread, milk & juice & some clothes to the 15th Street Baptist Church in East St. Louis, who serve 300-350 people in need a week, and take some pizza to the homeless camp in Washington Park, and everything else is passed out when we serve. What a huge difference these two have made!
March 26, 2019 - Melissa Bauer and Keith from the dock over at the old Lemp Brewery in St. Louis donated a huge amount of brand new clothes to MAD! Our displaced friends rarely have new clothes so something like this is so very special for them! The donations filled our shuttle bus with boxes & boxes of clothes that made a huge difference for many! Thank you both!
April 21, 2019 - We have been lucky to have Osborne Family Chiropractic as a supporter of Making a Difference! Not only do they collect donations for our homeless and needy friends as a donation location but they also donate items themselves! We asked online for donations to make snack bags for Easter dinner for our homeless friends and they went above & beyond, filling their trunk on April 21st! We're so happy they're continuing to be a part of our team! Thank you for the donations and being a part of our team! What a special group of people! If you need pain management, acupuncture & treatment for injuries, we highly suggest them.
July 10, 2019 - Our donors don't get cuter than this! This adorable little lady is Abbi and she just turned 4 years old! Her Mom is a Volunteer of ours and is all about giving back so after discussing it, they asked her friends & family for donations to Making A Difference instead of gifts for her birthday! Her Mom, Dad & Grandparents still gave her presents but her Mom wanted her to see how important it is to help others in need. Shortly after, a little girl in their neighborhood stopped by her house with a donation and said her Mom thinks they should do that for her birthday, too! We love how she's inspiring others! Happy Birthday, Abbi, thank you so much!! You're not only our most adorable donor but our youngest!
February 28, 2019 - When it comes to the displaced men, women & children, we love finding items at excellent prices that will benefit them. Goodwill in St. Louis had an amazing deal where we could get all the blankets we could fit in a trailer for $20! Who could pass that up? Blankets are a top priority for us! Our Board member Michelle rustled up her friends & family and they headed on over & loaded up the trailer and their mini-van then took the blankets back to their house & loaded them all on the Blessing Bus! Our homeless friends will be warm when we serve downtown St. Louis on Tuesday nights!
May 12, 2019 - Big thanks to Lisa HB. for this wonderful donation of candy! She saw a Snack Request plea we made when a friend of hers shared it and contacted us. Lisa works for a fun, specialty candy company called Lolli & Pops and donated a few cases of candy! Donations like this are such a special treat for the homeless and this sweet & thoughtful donation will really make their day! Thank you so much, Lisa!
November 20, 2018 - We were a little worried about what to do for the needy families in our area for Thanksgiving dinner but Ace Grease Service, Inc in Millstadt took care of that! They stopped by with 12 cases of turkeys to bless those in need! Thanks to them and a bunch of volunteers who got together and made a wonderful meal, 48 needy & homeless families had a delicious dinner and full bellies!
June 18, 2018 - MAD Founder Tony Hilker did something he hasn't done in years, he went to school! Mrs. Humphreys had invited him to be a guest speaker in her summer session English class at Collinsville High School. Not only did Mrs. H. and her class listen as Tony talked about homelessness, they also discussed ways they can all help our homeless brothers & sisters. Thank you for having us and for wanting to make a difference!
April 28, 2019 - Alton Main Street had held a Pop-up Clothes Swap and asked us to stop by so they could donate some leftover clothes to Making A Difference. Expecting a bag or two of clothes, they were surprised & beyond excited to find 212lbs of men's clothing! Words can't express how thankful we were for this blessing! So many men benefited from this wonderful donation!
June 17, 2019 - Thank you so much to Emily P. & her mother for buying new shoes at Payless & donating them! Because of these two caring ladies, 12 men were able to receive a new pair of shoes! Shoes are one of the most needed items for the homeless, and brand new shoes are something they rarely get and quite special!
April 16, 2019 - We have to thank two other businesses for helping us make a difference! Benny's Bed and Biscuits in Maryville, formerly known as Cindy's Critter Camp, has been invaluable to us as a donation location and are very friendly people! Mady's Gaming Parlor in Troy is a newer location who lets us use a trailer at their business for people to drop off donations for our displaced friends, like the mats made of plastic bags for our displaced friends. We're grateful these two businesses are continuing to work with us as we switched ownership and we look forward to a long relationship!
June 25, 2019 - We'd met a homeless yong man named Chris when we were filling up a Blessing Box in State Park and he asked for a few items. We made a request for those & a few other items and our very special group of Facebook followers & difference makers awed us with how much they care! Stephanie H donated an amazing 61 1lb packets of wild game, frozen & fresh food plus more! Our Volunteer Bj not only drove & picked up all the donations & dropped them off to us, she also donated six 6 packs of Gatorade, a case of water, disposable razors & collapsible, reusable bottles and more! There were a lot of donations from people like Amy K, Shanna E & Cheryl G. who donated $45 for supplies for Chris and our Volunteer Judy D, who donated bags of blankets & clothes, a tent, a cooler and more, plus items for him! We were touched beyond belief when we saw all of the items for Chris and those we help. Thank you to everyone who makes a difference! We could not do this without you!
May 3, 2019 - We're going to make blessing bags for pets to pass out when we serve. They'll consist of a Ziploc baggie of pet food, treats & a bottle of water, which will feed a dog or cat in immediate need. And, the plus side is Ziploc baggies are a requested item so it will be reused & helpful to the pet owners! We put out a plea for pet food and Hope 4 Paws Rescue gave us a huge donation of dog food, cat food and treats! They filled the back seat & trunk of Jerry's car! There are many homeless pet owners who can't feed their pet so they end up giving them some of their own food plus there's a lot of homeless pets out there on their own this will benefit. We have a background in rescue and love dogs & cats so one of our goals was to help them, too! And, this amazing donation gets us started!
August 19, 2018 - We love it when teens want to make a difference, not only in their lives but the lives of others, and they can make a huge impact! Ms. Camille and her cousin Terri came out with us today on Serving Sunday to help us serve our homeless friends. Camille's birthday was 2 days prior and she wanted to give back to her community! Thank you both for helping out and being an inspiration to other teens! Happy Belated Birthday, Camille!
April 14, 2019 - Because of the generosity of Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets in O'Fallon, MO and their amazing twice monthly donations, we were able to donate hams to Angels of Saint Clair County for their communal picnic on Easter Sunday in Belleville. We love working with this great organization who works hard to help those in need in St. Clair County. It felt great to donate to another group and help them make a difference!
November 13, 2017 - The Collinsville Middle School Hooloos organized a Socktober project and Making A Difference was the recipient! Hooloos are a special group of 7th grade students who have outstanding behavior in school and they recognize & promote positive behavior, giving back to the community. Besides all of the socks they collected, they also collected new hats, gloves, scarves, jackets, clothes, blankets, non-perishable food, hygiene & personal items & basic necessities. We send many thanks to CMS & the Hooloos for making a huge difference in our community!