Thank you to all the supporters of the RI Dream Center Hope for the Homeless Winter Survival Backpack Sponsors!!!!
If that’s not a mouthful, I don’t know what is!!!
Here’s the scoop, for those of you that don’t know what’s up – every year we hand out 300 free backpacks to the homeless filled with winter survival supplies. Yeah, it’s expensive, and yeah, it’s a lot of work….but it is soooooooo worth it!!!
To get it done, we rely on friends and family of the RI Dream Center for support. One of the main fundraisers is the Walkathon. Another way we raise support is simply by asking for supplies, and year after year I am totally amazed by the outstanding efforts of ordinary, everyday citizens of our community that help provide supplies for our backpacks.
Ok, so let’s set the table – here’s what we hand out:
Other helpful items are hand sanitizer, alcohol free mouthwash, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products.
As you can see, it’s a lot – just multiply that list by 300!!!!
We have already started receiving some donations, but if you would like to help us out by donating any of the above necessities it would be great! If you would like to donate anything, leave a comment below and we will figure out the best way to connect!
So, here are the dates I promised:
HFH Walkathon – October 11th at the PT Church Parking Lot at 8:30 am
Filling of the Backpacks – November 11th at PT Church at 6:00 pm until…..whenever we’re done!
Backpack Hand Outs – November 15th State House Lawn at 7:00 am
If you would like to help out with ANYTHING you have read about in this post, please let me know and we will put you in contact with someone running each of these events!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog!!!
Well, Tuesday nights are cordoned off for me and my wife as “date night”, and we got to spend time together tonight filling backpacks for the homeless…
Every year the Dream Center hands out about 300 backpacks filled with winter necessities to the homeless in Providence, and tonight was the night they were filled. This year we filled 301.
There are any number of people who have been working diligently all year to make this night a possibility, and to them I say thanks….and Saturday morning when the backpacks are finally given out to people who really need them – your whole year’s worth of hard work will come to fruition.
It was a little crazy at first when we got there – lots of work to do and soooo many opinions on which was the most efficient way to organize the stuffings and fill the backpacks…but once we finally got going we had a blast…all the volunteers ended up working as one cohesive unit within an hour and we were buzzing like super busy bees in a beehive…it was pretty cool, because even a couple of the volunteers were formerly homeless – it felt special working side-by-side with someone who used to need this backpack I held in my hand knowing that this year he is on the other side…this year he is helping fill it for someone else!
So, in closing, I hope you enjoy these pics as much as I enjoyed my date-night with my special someone!!!
So, if you’ve been following the Dream Center Diary, you know we have a lot going on right now. We are working feverishly raising donations for our backpack drive and putting together the finishing touches on this year’s Hope for the Homeless event. Meanwhile, the Food Truck is still going strong, and Early Seekers is seeing more visitors than ever before.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of tunnel-vision while this is going on, focusing solely on the tasks at hand. However, I want to make sure we remember to take the time to thank our donors as well. Without you, we would not be able to operate as an organization.
So we want to take a little time to send out a couple of thank-you notes to two of our corporate sponsors:
Thank you, Blount Fine Foods.
Blount has been one of our premiere partners since the first year the Food Truck went out. When we first started, we used to ask our volunteers to make their own soup, and quite often it was not all that appetizing. We were not always putting a high-quality product out there on the streets in those early years…then, somehow we made a connection with the fine folks over at Blount. Since then, they have provided us with all the soup we can pass out every single Winter. I have no idea how much this has saved us, but I imagine it must be in the thousands of dollars by now. And because of you, Blount Fine Foods, we have been able to provide the homeless with delicious hot soup all winter long.
We recently presented Andrea Walker and Courtney Hamilton with a plaque to say thank your for their wonderful generosity:
If you get the chance, please support this fine company. My family has been eating Blount dinners for years. Wherever you are, you can find a Blount Clam Shack near you – they have locations in Providence, Warren, East Providence and Fall River. You can also find some of the freshest seafood around in their Fish Market in Warren. My wife recently brought me home a fantastic fish-n-chips from their Providence location. There are many other ways to support Blount as well…find out more by visiting their website, http://www.blountseafood.com/about-us.
Thank you Blount!!!!
Thank you, Elmwood Sports Center.
These guys have been sooooo good to us over the years. They have donated sooooo many clothes to us to give to the homeless, supporting the Early Seekers out there on Saturday mornings. This year, they have continued to step up to the plate as they have just announced they are donating 125 backpacks for us to stuff with winter necessities and hand out to the homeless this year. Elmwood Sports Center has been a continual source of support to the RI Dream Center, and we appreciate your help so much. I would certainly encourage anyone looking to fill their sporting goods needs to visit the team at Elmwood Sports before checking anyone else out. After you visit my friends at ESC, you’re not going to want to check anyone else out anyways! Just like Blount, they have donated top-notch, first-quality products to us for years, and we will never be able to thank them enough! If you need any team apparel, or just need something custom-made (just the other day, one of my friends was showing off his new custom-made hoody he got there), please visit our friends at Elmwood Sports Center on Elmwood Ave, in Cranston.
Be sure to check out Elmwood Sports Center online at http://elmwoodsportscenter.com/ or in their shop at 1553 Elmwood Ave.
There are many other corporate and personal donors that have made a huge impact this year. Blount and Elmwood Sports are all I have time for tonight, but I’d just like to send out a huge THANK YOU to all those unsung heroes (big and small) that keep the RI Dream Center up and running!!!
Thanks so much for coming back to check in!
November is right around the corner…and you know what that means…colder weather, Thanksgiving, family-time, Christmas, winter…but we’re not there just yet…
November 16 kicks off National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (check out the National Coalition for the Homeless website for more info (http://www.nationalhomeless.org/projects/awareness/index.html)…and that means the Dream Center is preparing for our annual Hope for the Homeless event.
As in years past, we’re handing out 300 backpacks filled with winter necessities to the homeless to help them prepare for the upcoming winter. Passing out backpacks has become one of my most favorite traditions, and I am so proud of the team for faithfully raising funds, filling backpacks, and handing them out year after year.
If you have a chance, take a look at this video from a couple of years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_fWbJuPr5k On that day we passed out backpacks then blessed the ladies with makeovers 🙂
It really brings things into perspective for me, working with folks who have no more than what they can carry in their backpack everyday…even for those that are sleeping in shelters, most need to load all their belongings up into the backpack when they are forced out in the morning and need to carry everything they own with them all day until they can find some rest back at the shelter later that night.
We relish the opportunity to bless them with a brand new backpack filled with things that you and I often take for granted. This year, we expect to stuff the backpacks with the following:
- Shaving cream
- Nail clipper
- Toilet tissue
- First aid kits
- Lip balm
- Cocoa packets
- Instant soup
- Towel Powder/foot powder
- Peanut butter crackers
- Oatmeal Packet
- Pocket warmers
- Cough drops
Yeah, it’s a lot…but this might be the only gift some of these individuals gets this year…and if we can help one person survive another cold RI Winter then we are going to do EVERYTHING in our power to do so.
So, if there is anything you can do to help, it would be greatly appreciated.
You might find a great deal on hand warmers and tooth brushes, or you might want to donate to the cause…whatever you can do to help would be greatly appreciated. Every little bit helps – your gift might be that gift that helps someone.
Here’s how you can get involved…
- buy supplies and drop them off at our office at 330 Park Ave. in Cranston
- send us a check made payable to the RI Dream Center and drop it in the mail
- donate electronically through the PayPal link on our website: http://ridreamcenter.com/index.php/donors/
We have one more unique opportunity as well. We are having a walk-a-thon to help raise awareness and will be selling sponsorships that will be displayed on the team’s RIDC t-shirts. For a gift of $50, we will list your business name on the t-shirt announcing your sponsorship of this great event.
Every little bit helps… We really appreciate any donations you can help us with.
Thanks so much for checking in today – be sure to check in soon for future posts to the Dream Center Diary!
We’d love to hear from you:
- online: http://www.ridreamcenter.com/
- phone: 401-396-2743
- email the Dream Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
- email the Dream Center blog: email@example.com