TENDER LOVING CARE MINISTRIES, INC.
"Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might..."
Tender Loving Care Ministries, Inc. (TLC) is a private, non-profit, 501 (c) 3 charitable organization whose primary mission is to spread the love of Jesus Christ by ministering to the clothing needs of poverty-stricken children of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and other Appalachian areas.
It provides high quality hand-sewn clothing and hand-constructed accessories as well as retail and custom-made items such as underwear, socks, shoes, and winter coats.
Headquartered in Potomac, MD, the ministry is constantly seeking to expand its scope to touch the hearts and hands of more needy children in the Appalachian Mountains.
In 2006, TLC ministered to the needs of more than 3,000 children. However, 3,000 is only a fraction of the number in need.
Carole Franceski is TLC's founder and director. She began her work as a single volunteer in 1987 after she became aware of the rampant poverty that existed in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. That first year, she made approximately 50 dresses. Her enthusiasm for helping the poor was contagious and soon several friends volunteered to help.
Carole is a devout Christian who takes seriously the task of ministering to the needs of the poor, whether it be in her hometown or in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. "Real love begins when nothing is expected in return," she says.
With the help of friends and some favorable media coverage, TLC began to grow. By 1991 it became incorporated.
Newspaper and magazine articles, as well as local television coverage, resulted in an increase in the number of volunteers. By the end of 1992, Carole had more than 200 women helping her.
With the publication of an article in Family Circle magazine in April of 1993, the number jumped to more than 500.
These volunteers are spread across the United States from coast to coast and extend even into Canada. They perform a multitude of tasks including sewing dresses, pants and shirts; knitting winter hats, scarves and mittens; making accessories such as hairbows and jewelry; helping with packaging, shipping and distribution; assembling personal care kits; and assisting with management.
CHILDREN OF APPALACHIA
Poverty in Appalachia is extreme. Many children live in conditions that border on those of Third World Countries. Homes are frequently without indoor plumbing and/or electricity.
A large percentage of parents are unemployed and many cannot read and write at a functional level. Undernourishment is prevalent. Children are socially and academically behind by the time they enter school.
Too many of these children have never experienced the thrill of having a new outfit.
THE NEED! WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
As the ministry grows ... as more volunteers sew, knit, and make accessories ... as the needs of more children are met, the nuts-and-bolts aspect of the work has become more complicated, demanding, and expensive.
Four major clothing shipments per year are provided to the children of Appalachia. Carole and some of her volunteers try to visit Appalachia once or twice a year to take part in a hands-on distribution.
What started out as a part-time charitable project has grown into a full-time charitable mission. Carole works far more than 40 hours each week, and her home has been turned into a sewing factory, warehouse, and shipping center. Overhead costs have mounted - costs for materials, shipping, postage, printing, travel and telephone.
Will you help the needy children of Appalachia? They need you. They need to know that someone cares.
Carole and her 1,000 volunteers care, but they need your support so this care can be translated into love through their hands-on efforts to clothe the poor.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and you gave me meat; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; Naked and ye clothed me.
Matthew 25: 34-36
Make a commitment to the needy children of Appalachia . . . today. Become a TLC partner/friend. Please send your monetary and/or clothing contributions to TLC Ministries, Inc. at the address above.
When you become a partner/friend, you will receive a quarterly TLC Ministries Update.