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February 27, 2013

Baby boutique and Easter egg drive aim to help needy

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

Looking for a good place to donate gently used baby items and clothes, or an economical place to buy them? Check out Mary’s Mantle Baby Boutique Resale Shop in Faith@Work Catholic Books & Gifts.

The boutique sells children’s clothing in sizes newborn to 4T, as well as swings and strollers.

Founder Beth Collison explained that, after operating expenses, all of the profits at the store go to charitable causes, and the profits from the baby boutique benefit Mary’s Mantle, a home for homeless pregnant women.

The home is located in Southfield and houses up to four expectant mothers at one time.

Cheryl Hancock, who volunteers at the home, said the women don’t have to be Catholic to live there. There is a “house mom” on staff at the home at all times. A social worker and volunteers work with the women to help them find jobs, develop résumés, and find a place to live. The women may stay at the home for up to one year.

Hancock said that some of the residents have interned at the store. “It helps them understand a little bit of retail,” she said.

“For some of them, it was the first time they had ever earned a paycheck,” Collison said.

Collison explained that the store donates to other charities, including Believe in Miracles, Paint a Miracle, the St. Peter and Paul Warming Center in Detroit and the Divine Mercy Center in Eastpointe.

Collison and her husband started Faith@Work on Wattles, west of John R, five years ago. 

“We felt like there was a need in the community for a Catholic bookstore,” she said. The store sells Catholic and Christian books, Communion and confirmation gifts, inspirational gifts and greeting cards, and it has a gathering space available for small groups, free of charge.

The store is also accepting donations for the 10th annual Easter Egg Drop through March 19. Donated eggs are stuffed with coins, candy, small toys, Chuck E. Cheese tokens, stickers and a prayer. Collison hopes to collect more than 6,000 stuffed eggs, which will be delivered to children and families in need the night before Easter Sunday, March 31. Volunteers quietly cover the lawns of the unknowing families with dozens of the stuffed eggs.

“We served 20 families last year,” Collison said. She receives names of families in need from churches and moms’ groups. The families served have experienced job loss, illness or death, she said.

Faith@Work is located at 1977 E. Wattles. For information or to donate children’s items or packed Easter eggs, call (248) 250-9216 or visit www.faithatworktroy.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.