My Street Team Members, Patti and Nise wanted to do something to assist the homeless this Holiday Season. They have some very affordable and tangible ways to help. The contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help in any way. Please read the note from them below:
In the spirit of Poughkeepsie, since the release of the book in 2011, my daughter and I have put together small gift packages for our local Family Promise and donated them in honor of Blake Hartt.
This year we've made it our goal to be able to make packages for twenty individuals, and we asked Deb's permission to approach the street team group to help make that goal possible. Her response was that she was behind it 400%- so here's a little info.
Family Promise is an organization that helps low income and homeless families stay together through tough times by helping to foster independence and self sufficiency.
A dear friend is the executive director of a Family Promise day program in Williamsport, PA. The day shelter is in a church parsonage. The first floor is set up as office space with computer labs where individuals can surf the net looking for jobs, put together resumes and print them, get assistance writing resumes... There are classes for budgeting and saving money, life skills, counseling.
A kitchen provides a place where families can cook a meal and sit down together to eat.
Bedrooms on the second floor provide a safe place for children to lay down and take a nap, for a mother to nurse her infant, or care for an ill child. A number of secure walk in closets provide a place for individuals to leave their belongings, under lock and key. A private bathroom is provided where individuals can shower and attend to personal needs.
Another community church provides shelter where individuals can sleep together in family units, others provide food pantries, soup kitchens and used clothing closets.
The organization assists families in acquiring housing, employment, GEDs and sometimes higher education.
As the name suggests, it's a promise, by members of the local community, to help keep families intact while they get on their feet. It's not a hand out, but a hand up.
In the past, my daughter and I have put together packages of travel sized personal products. Some were gleaned from hotel stays or free samples, while others were purchased at Target or Walmart.
I'm putting packages together the weekend of December 14th & 15th.
We were wondering if any of you would like to participate by donating small items to be included. It doesn't matter if they are free samples, travel items, or snatched from hotels- as long as they are new, unopened items.
Deb commented that the post office has gotten particular about shipping liquids. I've never had a problem with UPS, I don't know about other shipping company policies.
When I originally mentioned this to Deb, I said I didn't want to be responsible for money from individuals, but there may be individuals who don't have the time to shop or don't want to waste their money on shipping. If someone prefers to send a gift card, I'll purchase items with it and send you the receipt.
If you'd like to add something to our little stock pile, please give me a heads up over at email@example.com
Following is a list of items we're hoping to include. Many of the items are around a dollar a piece. A number of the items on the list are geared towards winter.
It was 24 degrees here last night and this is only the beginning. As great as these shelters are, individuals who get assistance from them spend the majority of their day on the streets, in all sorts of weather.
And the list of items...
Gallon Ziplock bags
Hand warmers (like people take hunting)
pocket sized tissues
silver survival blankets (they aren't warm and fuzzy, but they work, can keep someone dry, and are small enough to put in your pocket.)
disposable razors and shave cream
tampons or maxi pads
Walmart is selling fleece holiday blankets for $2.88 each.
Cloth tote bags or small string backpacks
I have toothbrushes and Germex wipes already to start with.
A number of the consumers have children and babies- if anyone could get their hands on baby or children's toiletries, unopened happy meal toys, small toys or games, coloring books and packages of crayons- things to keep the little hands and minds occupied. Please nothing with a lot of small pieces.
I'd like to also do a snack bag for each individual, I'm thinking things like protein bars, granola bars. snack sized cookies or crackers, dried fruit, nuts. Things someone can carry in a pocket or purse.
Whether you can contribute or not, thank you so much for taking the time to read my post.
Denise and Patti helping to keep Beckett's promise