Siobhan and Dave LeBlanc were both raised in families that instilled the importance of giving. “It could be your time, talents, or money. But probably most importantly, the giving of your spirit to lift someone up on their tough days,” Siobhan said. It was after reflecting about the time they spent volunteering for Hurricane Sandy clean-up efforts in New York City that they both decided to take the next step and make volunteering a regular part of their lives.
It started with putting together “blessing bags,” which included toiletries and other necessities, that Siobhan provided to local rescue missions at the end of the year. They were such a big hit that she started receiving requests asking when she would be providing these special items again. After realizing the need was immense, “Blessing Brigade” was founded by Siobhan and since then she and her team have been providing necessities not only at year-end but to organizations all year long.
She recalls a particular delivery of "blessing bags" to Joseph’s House. “Everyone came out to help unload the vehicles and we filled the lobby with the Brigade’s donations,” she said. “I remember Tide laundry detergent and razors were the crowd favorites. Every few minutes you’d hear, ‘Oh, yes! They brought us the good stuff!’ The car ride home was when we decided we would keep Blessing Brigade going and strive to make it bigger and better every year.”
“There are so many people that say they have always wanted to get involved but didn’t know how to get started or didn’t have the time. That’s why we say our goal is to make giving easier. We do the work, but we wouldn’t have the work without all the people that donate every year."
If these stories inspire you, nominate someone you know for SEFCU’s Why I Care award by clicking here.