About Note in the Pocket
In 2005, a kindergarten teacher noticed that some of her impoverished students did not have seasonal clothing. She and her mother started to provide these students with coats, leaving a note in each pocket to let them know that this is a gift and they are loved. This grew to the point where the teacher was able to help clothe the entire student body. In 2011, Dallas Bonavita met with the teacher’s mother and started to help with clothing drives and finding a space that was more accommodating for the large amounts of clothing they were receiving. In 2012, Note in the Pocket became an official ministry under the auspices of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. They became a nonprofit in the following year. Note in the Pocket continues to make a difference in the lives of many students who can not afford suitable clothing.
Note in the Pocket experiences great leadership from their executive director, Dallas Bonavita. Throughout her lifetime, Dallas has dedicated her life to volunteering and helping to improve her community. Before Note in the Pocket, she was a disability specialist for the state of North Carolina, a relocation specialist, and co-creator and owner of Kids Gym, Inc. She then became an important figure in developing Note in the Pocket, and she is a founding member of their Board of Directors. She has done an exemplary job at providing for those in Wake County who need it the most.
Last year, Note in the Pocket was able to clothe over 5,000 individuals. This year, they hope to beat that number by another 1,000 individuals clothed. It is predicted that by the end of 2021, they will have clothed 35,000 individuals since 2013. Although their main focus is clothing impoverished school children, they also help clothe the student’s family members and younger siblings. Last year, they raised over $200,000, which was put towards clothing more students.
How Teenagers Can Be Involved
Note in the Pocket has a Teen Board of high school students in grades 9-12 who work to improve the lives of children in Wake County. Teen Board members come from a wide array of schools in the community, and together they work to hone and develop their leadership skills, community awareness, and passion for volunteering. The goal of the program is to become more active in local community service, and board members do this by hosting clothing drives, interacting with community groups, and creating fundraisers to raise money for Note in the Pocket. One of Triangle Cares’ co-founders, Catherine Pabalate, has served on the Teen Board for almost two years, and she has been really grateful for the opportunities that the board has granted her. She says that the board has allowed her to work and volunteer alongside many new people, helped her learn from mentors in the organization, and grow her love for giving back to the community.