Category — Holiday Charity
The weather this past December not only played havoc on retail sales, but ruined many holiday celebrations by causing electrical outages, undelivered packages and relatives unable to travel to be with family. CBN news reports that December brought the coldest weather some areas have seen in decades. I don’t think global warming was a factor this December. In fact this year a reading of 135.8 degrees below zero was measured in Antarctica, which is the lowest temperature ever recorded on earth, so even though the cold ruined the holidays for many retailers and families, in comparison to other places on earth, the USA made it through—but wait until January which is set to look much like December’s weather.
With this extreme weather we are having, I just can’t imagine what it would be like to be homeless during this time. USA Today reported on a financial advisor, Isaac Simon, who on Tuesday evenings for the last six years in Manhattan, packs his white van with soup, bagels, milk and oranges and drives into areas where the homeless gather. He also has clothes to help those less fortunate. When you think that New York City, one of the wealthiest cities in the world, has a census in their homeless shelters of 51,000 which happens to be the entire population of Charleston, the capital of West Virginia, you know America has a problem that we can’t just sweep under the rug. With that many people in need, we need hundreds of Isaac Simons to help just in Manhattan alone.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the US Conference of Mayors survey of 25 large and midsize cities indicates that homelessness and hunger have increased and are expected to continue to rise in 2014. The poverty rate in the US of 15% is still near the Great Recession’s high of 15.1%. In Los Angeles, 20,000 people sleep on the streets every night and 2,000 of them are families or children living on their own. Homelessness has increased by 26% in LA since last year. Chicago reported an 11.4% increase in the number of homeless families since last year. This survey also reported that 21% of people needing emergency food assistance could not get help.
In my city of Phoenix, nonprofit organizations and government are acutely aware of the issues facing the poor. We have St. Vincent De Paul serving over 3,600 meals a day to the homeless and families in need. We have the city helping homeless vets to find places to live off the streets. Two years ago, the city identified 222 chronically homeless veterans, of which more than half served in Vietnam. Our mayor, Greg Stanton announced right before Christmas that the final 56 veterans were placed in housing. This happened because the city council allocated an additional $100,000 in November to accelerate the efforts to help homeless vets.
President Obama’s administration has pledged to eliminate homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015, but it looks like time is running short unless cities and states get involved like Phoenix has. The Washington Post talks about the state of Massachusetts and the Department of Veteran Affairs have put aside dollars to hire veterans, some formerly homeless themselves, to help get veterans off the streets in Boston. They spend one day a week roaming the city’s storefronts, alleys and shelters seeking out these homeless veterans. The rest of the week is spent making sure those put into housing stay the course.
Now that the holidays are over, we as a society begin to focus back on our own needs in January. Whether it is finding a gym to get back in shape, or a diet to lose the holiday pounds, our attention naturally shifts away from those who need our help 365 days a year. Homelessness is not just the responsibility of our government; it is all of our communal responsibility whether it is in the dead of winter or the heat of summer. Obviously volunteering is the best way to get involved, but if you don’t have the gumption of Isaac Simon or the political prowess of Mayor Stanton, then helping out with donated money is a high priority. There are several organizations to support. The National Homeless Coalition, The Salvation Army and The Gospel Rescue Mission all make homelessness their priorities. And at DollarDays on our Facebook page, we are giving away blankets to help those in need, so make sure you nominate a worthy organization.
Maybe what we should all do is what the Lakewood Congregational Church Youth Foundation in northern Ohio does and has been doing for years. On a night in January, they sleep in cardboard boxes outside in the bitter cold and spend the evening seeking donations from community member passing by to help less fortunate families. If that does not wake up the younger generation to the needs of the homeless, then nothing will. Can you imagine if in every city in every state, we all give up the comforts of our homes for one night to experience the immorality of homelessness, what that would do for the psyche of America? I am sure that if we addressed this issue on a grass roots level and all woke up the next morning freezing cold and hungry, our ineffective congress would hear our collective voices saying enough is enough, and Congress would reverse the recent cuts in food stamps, show compassion with the new congressional budget deal and help those who need unemployment benefits. Wouldn’t that be a way to start off 2014…
December 31, 2013 No Comments
Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping DollarDays help even more families in need this holiday season. The response to help these families was tremendous. We randomly selected fifty people who entered their names. We will post the first name, city and state below so that you can anticipate getting the check in the mail. The checks were mailed in the evening of December 13.
It is our hope that the fifty dollars you give to a familiy, a person or a shelter will be a heartfelt exchange in the true sense of giving.
Look for your name below!
|Janet||Havre de Grace||MD|
|Kim||Port Saint Lucie||FL|
December 14, 2013 1 Comment
December 3, 2013 No Comments
Winners for our “Help a Family in Need” contest have been selected.
All winners have been sent an email. Please check your spam filters.
And congratulations for selflessly helping a family in need have a magical holiday, thanks to your thoughtfulness.
The winners are:
First place $2,000, Jeanie G.
Second place $1,000, Jef W.
Third Place $500, Jessica W.
And 15 people each received $100: Denise V., Elzabeth N., Patrick I., Faye D., Kimberly V., Carol S., Matt S., Kimberly D., Claudia D., Marilyn M., William S., Jennifer J., Amber G., Diane H., Donna C.
Thank you for participating in DollarDays’ November “Help a Family in Need” $5,000 in merchandise giveaway. You have made a difference!
December 3, 2013 No Comments
by Jackie Eldridge
Most non-profit organizations, such as churches, charities, shelters and schools, have special missions, outreach or service projects planned for the Christmas holidays to help those in need. We find that at his time of year, non-profits like yours are preparing to help provide food, clothing and holiday presents to children and families, as well as helping the homeless. And we also find they need to stretch every penny.
We provide needed items in bulk to hundreds of organizations and one of the most popular and practical items we see to help the homeless at Christmastime is the purchase of bulk wholesale plastic shoe boxes and filling them with dozens of bulk wholesale health and beauty supplies such as tooth paste and brushes, soap, first aid, shampoo, wet wipes, aspirin, deodorant, combs, toenail clippers, razors, snacks and other items to help maintain hygiene and health. Buying the shoeboxes and the health and hygiene items at wholesale makes it possible for organizations to stretch their dollars and help more people. One of the things that our non-profit organizations enjoy about the clear plastic shoe boxes filled with health and hygiene items is that their organization has to create an event to bring their members together to pack the boxes. This provides a deep sense of service and camaraderie. Once packed, distribution begins and that true spirit of the season lasts and lasts. They are making a true difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
The homeless in particular have many needs to make it through the cold winter. Some organizations buy wholesale sleeping bags, fleece blankets, coats, hats, gloves, shoes and boots, as well as socks to distribute to shelters and to those living on the streets. In fact, to emphasize the importance of socks, the Boston Health Care for the Homeless program believes “clean, white socks are a staple of homeless health care and make a real difference in the lives of their patients.” Needless to say, we sell tens of thousands of pairs of socks each holiday season.
Then we have to think about the children. While there are many organizations, such as Toys for Tots, that provide toys for kids, local schools, churches and organizations make the children a priority by having toy drives. One of the best values for buying toys is buying in bulk at DollarDays.com. Instead of buying one toy, you can purchase a lot of 12 and often the cost for 12 toys wholesale is what you might pay for one toy from a retail store. We have hundreds of small community organizations buy toys in bulk, as well as some of the larger organizations such as Salvation Army.
If your organization would like additional help with donations, DollarDays has a WishList program where we give you a WishList page, with your name and logo on it, and you can select the items from DollarDays you’d like people to donate to your organization. Donors visit your WishList, select the items you need and we ship them to you. The program is free and it includes a toolkit to help your organization promote it in your community.
September 24, 2013 No Comments