Helping the Homeless In Our Community
We feel very strongly about being an active part of the Seattle area community, and we’ve found that many of our patients and families share that value. Last spring Tina suggested that when we do our next meal distribution we should also distribute personal supplies in backpacks. As the end of the school year was approach, we knew that many student patients would be interested in purchasing new backpacks for next year, so we asked for donations of their old ones as well as personal supplies such as deodorant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. We received some very generous contributions to the backpack drive, including some brand new ones that came with attached blankets. Each backpack was filled with the personal supplies, as well as packaged foods for later use.
On Thursday, October 22, we packed up the loaded backpacks along with 45 boxes of freshly-made pasta dinners, water, and utensils, and headed out to downtown Seattle to distribute to the homeless who weren’t able to get into shelters for the night. We hit the areas we know that homeless folks congregate, such as Pioneer Square, Occidental Park, and Victor Steinbrueck Park. The meals were eagerly accepted, as usual, but we were taken aback by how valued the backpacks were. When you’re carrying all of your worldly possessions, a comfortable and strong backpack is a treasure. The were touched by how the folks on the street look after one another, sharing food and pointing out those in greater need than themselves.
From our experiences in distributing food and personal items to the homeless community, this is what we’ve learned:
- Food is, of course, a daily need
- Personal care products, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer are very much in need
- By far, the most requested items are warm hats, gloves, socks
- Backpacks, though not specifically requested, are very helpful and much appreciated
A most sincere thank you!
We greatly appreciate the enthusiastic support that we received from out patients and families! It exceeded our expectations and we are inspired to do a backpack drive each spring. It’s popular to distribute food to the homeless during the holiday season, so we aim to help fill the void during other times. We are happy to collect and distribute any items such as that above-mentioned ones or anything else that would help make a tough existence more comfortable. Having our patients, families, and friends involved makes it all the more effective and rewarding. Thanks again!