Box of Love

“To help other people is the greatest feeling,” says Laurie Martin, founder of Simplicity Organizers and Simplicity Serves.

While her main business is helping people organize and simplify their lives, Laurie’s real passion runs much deeper. Her company mission statement reads “Simplicity is about experience, connection and community.”

Laurie is always thinking of ways to connect with the community, “I cannot shut my brain down about it,” she laughs.

Over the years, she has found lots of ways to help like a massive book drive she holds every Spring to donate over 4000 gently used books or a coat drive where she was inspired by Bart Noonan, founder of West Boulevard Ministry.

“I sat in his office tearing up listening to his story,” Laurie said. Bart’s desire to be a constant presence on the Westside of Charlotte serving the physical and spiritual needs of 250 families touched her.

“I love what he is doing,” Laurie said and laughed as she added, “He calls himself a ‘Hope Dealer.’”

When Laurie and Bart met for the first time, it was only two days before his planned Coats and Cookout event. Bart was struggling with how to organize the mountains of coats around him. Laurie and her expert team stepped in to help sort, hang and display hundreds of donated coats.

As the coronavirus took over Charlotte, Laurie knew the needs on West Boulevard must be deepening as well. When she called Bart to ask how to help there was only one overwhelming need.

“Right now, all our families care about is food,” Bart told her.

Once again, Laurie’s brain began buzzing. This time, about how to best organize food for 250 families. Her basement and garage were full of boxes from the school book drive that had to be put on hold because of school closures.

What if those boxes could be re-purposed for food deliveries? Laurie wondered.

Box of Love was born. Laurie called her friend and wellness coach, Haynes Paschall, to get advice on nonperishable yet healthy meal suggestions. Together, Simplicity Serves and Simple Wellness joined forces to create four meal box ideas (Breakfast, Lunch, and two Dinner options) that can support the West Boulevard Ministry community.  They created a webpage with all the details and they have 6 drop-off locations throughout Charlotte (Dilworth, Myers Park, Southpark, Arboretum, Ballantyne and Tyvola).

As the mom of three children ages 6,4 and 2, Laurie wanted the idea to be easy and family friendly. Already her children, Allison, Blake and Coby have packed boxes and even starred in a video to encourage other families to pack their own.

When asked where her desire to give back comes from, Laurie responds without hesitation, “It’s just within.”

While the past weeks have been overwhelming for so many, Laurie has been energized through this new Box of Love project. “That’s the beauty of this time,” she says. “You see everyone come together and you recognize our deep need for connection.”

Want to help?

Visit the Box of Love webpage here  Consider donating and packing a box, volunteering to transport boxes, and/or simply sharing this idea with others on your social media.

If you have any questions about Box of Love, please contact info@simplicity-organizers.com