1st Beginnings

1st Beginnings (graphic of house)

The Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program 1st Beginnings project provides assistance to youth in our community who are venturing out on their own for the first time.

Many youth move into their first abode with no furniture and only an air mattress upon which to sleep. With no existing resources to provide household essentials like furniture, linens and kitchenware, 1st Beginnings provides youth in or aging out of foster care with everything they need for their first home.

You can learn more about the project, our sponsors and how to help us make a difference in many young lives.

Hand in hand, we will help youth to have not just a place to live… but a place to call home.

How It Works

The 1st Beginnings process is simple and includes three basic steps.

   ❶   Stores, local businesses and individuals donate new and like new items or funds.

   ❷   Youth get an appointment to visit our storage facility and shop for items free of charge.

   ❸   Youth start their independence with a fully-furnished home plus incidentals without debt.

How to Help

We need your help to ensure that 1st Beginnings is a success. Whether representing a company or supporting individually, we appreciate any assistance you can offer. All donations are tax deductible.

   ❶   Donate new household items

  • Furniture such as dressers, dining tables, chairs and sofas
  • Linens such as sheets, towels, pillow cases and washcloths
  • Kitchenware such as dishes, pots, pans, silverware, cups and glasses

our full household items list is available at the bottom of the page

Contact us to make arrangements to donate

   ❷   Contribute money

  • Funds may be used to purchase needed items or sponsor a youth on their journey
  • PayPal donations are accepted; contact us if you want to donate offline

Donate now via PayPal by selecting a button

   ❸   Get the project flyer and letter

  • Download and print the flyer and letter
  • Post the flyer to community bulletin boards and display it at your business
  • Distribute the letter to family, friends and colleagues

Download the flyer

Download the letter

   ❹   Share this page online

  • Link to this page using email and social media
  • Use the easy to remember short link → gal2.org/first

Email    Facebook    Google+    LinkedIn
Pinterest    StumbleUpon    Tumblr    Twitter

Project Sponsors

1st Beginnings is only possible with the generous support of others, such as our project sponsors.

Project Contact

Receiving and transporting donated items requires some logistical planning. Please contact us to schedule a donation time or ask questions about 1st Beginnings.

(850) 606-1200

(850) 606-1218


Please note that we cannot accept unscheduled donations at our office or storage unit. Simply call or email first and we will happily make arrangements with you. Thank you for your understanding!

Printable flyer for 1st Beginnings with text from this page

Household Items List

Items with a yellow star Yellow Star icon are the most needed at this time. Please note that we cannot accept used mattresses; worn out items; damaged items; items with marks or stains; or fabric furniture from homes with pets or smokers. The list, which is also available to download, was updated on Friday, March 30, 2018.

  • General
  • Gift cards for T.J. Maxx, Target, HomeGoods, Dollar General, Walmart and similar retailers
  • Kitchen
  • Pots and pans with lids (new or great condition) Yellow Star
  • Cooking utensils
  • Kitchen knives
  • Mixing bowls
  • New kitchen trash cans Yellow Star
  • Dishes and glasses (sets)
  • Flatware sets Yellow Star
  • Small microwave ovens Yellow Star
  • New dish towels
  • Electric/manual can openers
  • Four and twelve cup coffee makers/filters
  • Crock pots
  • Electric mixers
  • New microwavable food storage containers
  • Small kitchen tables and chairs Yellow Star
  • Bathroom
  • New bath towels, hand towels and washcloths Yellow Star
  • New bath mats Yellow Star
  • New shower curtain and hook sets Yellow Star
  • New small trash cans
  • Bedroom
  • Small dressers Yellow Star
  • Nightstands Yellow Star
  • Small bookshelves
  • Small lamps
  • Living Room
  • Lamps, shades and bulbs
  • Small televisions with stands
  • Love seats
  • Living room chairs Yellow Star
  • Sofas
  • Small coffee tables
  • Other Housekeeping Items
  • Irons and ironing boards
  • Laundry baskets
  • New bagless vacuum cleaners Yellow Star
  • Framed mirrors
  • New mops, brooms and dustpans
  • Decorative items
  • Flashlights and batteries