Now that the Holiday Season is entering full swing with this coming month of December. I thought to myself what sort of concept as a non-profit organization I could envision. I thought about "Homeless Care Packages", however, this is neither a new concept nor original I soon found out. Just doing a cursory search online I found numerous socially minded compassionate non-profits down to caring solitary individuals. Doing this form of community service for the homeless in their own locality.
Here's an example of a gentleman out of the city of Chicago as a one person outfit. The crowd sourced at "FundAnything.com Homeless Care Packages" to the tune of $4,554 for a full year. Where his target was $4,500 which he met besides each individual care package cost him $17-$25 a piece. Now figure a full-fledged non-profit can stretch those dollars even further bringing down the price per care package.
A few years back my hometown of Sarasota here in the State of Florida. Received a notorious rank of the most hostile city for the homeless in the entire nation. Gladly that infamy has passed to a degree for the "City of Sarasota" itself. Everyone frowns upon the presence of the homeless in their own neighborhood. Be it panhandling for hand outs or the associated petty crimes that may occur for those desperate with drug addiction.
What I'm advocating here isn't my usual fare of innovative concepts, but rather an opportunity to engage with one's local community. A "Food for Thought" social enterprise regarding a fractional solution to every community that is being affected with homelessness. Especially families with young children sliding from the middle class into poverty stricken lower class economically speaking. The echoes of the so-called "Great Recession" feels more like a Depression for some in this 2nd Gilded Age in America.
So with that mini-rant out of the way, I would like to offer up a notion for those willing and able. As individuals, non-profits (new or established), and corporate entities that pride themselves on community outreach initiatives. To consider "Homeless Care Packages" as a worthy compassionate venture in your community be it in America or elsewhere in the world.
If I were to pursue such a venture as a non-profit depending on the budget. I would use a delivery van or a personal vehicle to handout such fully prepped care packages for the homeless. Be it delivered wherever the homeless congregate such as public parks, soup kitchens, or along roadways such an underpass location.
I would also devise a basic color-coded approach where rather than just a generic care package. I could set up care packages for men and woman, besides that for children be they, boys or girls. For example, the color green is for men, pink for women, red for boys, white for girls, and gray as the generic care packages.
Generic homeless care packages for a non-profit organization could locate community sponsors. Where the imprinted logo in terms of donated sponsor merchandise could be used as handouts. Such as T-Shirts X-Large size, Baseball Caps, Water Bottles, Poncho, Bandanna, basic First Aid kit, Hand Towel, Notebooks, Pens, cloth weave Shopping Bags, Back Packs, and a Fanny Pack. Many corporate sponsors seeking to promote a particular product such as a food stuff would be suited well for the homeless. That will utilize the merchandise immediately upon receiving such items. A form of complimentary advertising in exchange for practical items they could benefit from in usage.
Other generic items in a care package can consist of: Bungie Cords to help carry a load; snack bars; snack food in small bag sizes such as: peanuts, pretzels, and sunflower seeds; paperback travel size Bible; sample travel size bottles of: suntan lotion, tooth paste, hand sanitizer, hand moisturizer; other assorted toiletries; specially created pamphlet of local social service organizations; Ziploc bags, Coupon offers from fast food restaurants; assorted low denomination gift cards from $5-$20 in value for a supermarket, fast food eateries, long distance calling card, thrift stores (ie Goodwill or Salvation Army stores), coin rolls for quarters, dimes, and nickels that can be used at a vending machine.
In addition from the generic items for men to include in a homeless care package. I would place a: basic shaving kit, low-cost wrist watch, and cologne.
In addition from the generic items for woman, I would include in a homeless care package. Items such as hair net / shower cap, a compact makeup mirror, a cuticle set, assorted feminine hygiene products, a paperback romance novel (can purchase 2nd hand from a used bookstore to save on cost), and perfume.
In addition from the generic items for young boys up to the age of 12 years old. I would include in a homeless care package items such as candy, candy bars, toy action figures, Matchbox / Hotwheels miniature toy cars, pencils, notebooks, assorted school supplies, coloring books, crayon box set, and children books (new or used). All of it stuffed into a school size back pack for the child.
In addition from the generic items for young girls up to the age of 12 years old. I would include in a homeless care package items such as candy, a toy doll, a plush stuffed animal, arts & crafts materials, assorted school supplies, colorful pencils, notebooks, coloring books, a crayon box set, and children books (new or used). All of it stuffed into a school size back pack for the child.
All of the above is in a general sense how I would approach in a fledgling manner such an operation. Be it conducted with a few prepared homeless care packages on a weekly or monthly basis as resources and time permits. These care packages are meant to promote goodwill as an outreach method. In showing that charitable organizations or motivated individuals care about their general welfare in the community. That such persons aren't forgotten nor their plights no matter the cause makes them any less human. The homeless care packages will provide hopefully practical items that aren't cumbersome in everyday use. That will be put to immediate use as the situation presents itself.
I hope this socially minded opportunity motivates those willing with sufficient backing to consider such an initiative for themselves. Like any charitable outreach, it will teach you patience, humility, empathy, and certainly compassion as such a noble effort is accomplished.
Ivan "Atrayo" Pozo-Illas, has devoted 21 years of his life to the pursuit of clairvoyant automatic writing channeling the Angelic host. Ivan is the author of the spiritual wisdom series of "Jewels of Truth" consisting of 3 volumes published to date. He also channels conceptual designs that are multi-faceted for the next society to come that are solutions based as a form of dharmic service. Numerous examples of his work are available at "Atrayo's Oracle" blog site of 11 years plus online. Your welcome to visit his website "Jewelsoftruth.us" for further information or to contact Atrayo directly.