Thursday, January 27, 2011

52 Weeks of Giving - Week 4 (Helping people who are homeless and/or those in need)

This week, the girls and I have been doing some house cleaning and had quite a few bags of items that were in good condition that we no longer needed. 

On Monday, we brought three garbage bags and two grocery-size bags to Family Pathways that were filled with toys, stuffed animals, crocheted blankets, clothing, and books.  I was ready to take a picture of the girls with the donations, but the battery in my camera had run out.

The girls were so happy with all the items they were donating - the majority of which came out of their closets and rooms.

We regularly make in-kind donations to Family Pathways because we like what this non-profit organization does to benefit the community.  It:

• provides senior services, including companionship and respite care, to the elderly so they may live in independence with dignity.

• provides hope and nourishment to adults and children in crisis with their food pantries and community advocacy program.

•builds awareness and sensitivity in youth and their families with their youth services programs.

They accept donations of clothing, household items, and furniture in good condition (the majority of items found in a home which is great - it gives the items another opportunity to be used by someone else while keeping them out of the landfill).

By donating to Family Pathways Thrift Stores, people can directly impact their commitment towards helping the community. Income generated by the sale of the donations is what they use to fund their programs for seniors, children, and families in crisis. (This is the link to the list of items Family Pathways accepts.)

Putting travel size shampoo, conditioner, and soap into a bag
for Simpson Housing

On Wednesday and Thursday morning, the girls and I put together some items for Simpson Housing.  Simpson Housing aims to house, support, and advocate for people experiencing homelessness

Tea, sugar, and creamer packets for
breakfasts at the shelter that
serves men and women who are homeless

They achieve their mission in the metro area by providing a full continuum of supportive housing services to end chronic homelessness:

• Emergency shelters for men and women (separated by gender).

• Permanent, subsidized, supportive rental housing for single men and women who have been homeless long-term, with a unique focus on the needs of single women.

• Subsidized, supportive rental housing for families with children, both single site and scattered site, both transitional and permanent housing.

Sophia and Olivia putting two pillows in a bag
for Simpson Housing.  The organization is
in need of blankets and pillows for their shelter.

This is the link to the items that Simpson Housing accepts.

We were in downtown Minneapolis at Orchestra Hall this morning (one of the programs designed for youth), and Simpson Housing is less than ten minutes away.  We drove to their administrative offices and the girls and I brought in the items we were donating.

Sophia and Olivia packing boxes of cereal to donate
to Simpson Housing for breakfasts for adults who are homeless

The staff was friendly and appreciative of the items we brought - all of which will be used at the shelter that helps men and women who are homeless.

The girls ready to drop off some of their donations
at Simpson Housing.

On February 16th, we received a letter from Simpson Housing thanking the girls and I for our donation.  It read, in part, "On behalf of our shelter guests, program participants, and staff I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your support."

The letter went on to state that Wilder Research "reports that in the last three years homelessness in Minnesota has increased by 25%.  Our community members have lost their jobs or have had their hours cut.  Others have had their apartment buildings go into foreclosure and they have been unable to find an affordable place to live."

The letter concluded, "In this time of increased need your gift shows that you care.  You share our belief that no one should experience homelessness.  We appreciate your care and hope that you will continue to work with us."

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