This year we had supplies enough to fill 400 backpacks with supplies and food for the homeless. and to help supplies were coming in all day. and 2 shopping carts full of food were there that had been collected at the Krampus event held at the Tangent two nights before.. Read that blog here
Image by Kathryn Rathbun
The day was set up into two shifts. Volunteers were encouraged to pick 1 of 2 shifts so that the event space was not overwhelmed and people did not feel useful. We love volunteers and want to utilize time efficiently!
We blogged about the event live…here is the link to that
How the event goes every year…Two shifts are set up:
*12 noon -2:30pm to help sort and set up.
*2:30 to 5 to pack.
This ear by about 2pm.. everything was set up and the backpacks were ready to follow the line to fill like we do Detroit assembly style. Every item had unpacking and stripping of the wrapping and tags. Then arranged on tables in order of weight so the heavy items are placed in first…ending with the gloves and handwritten notes of love.
The 2nd shift filled the backpacks in Record time..by 2:30pm all the packs were filled and by 3:30pm folks were loading full packs backing into the trailer and returning them to storage down the street! While a team of five were loading packs into the storage space another group of about 4 took extra supplies and clothes from the event to the Homeless Veterans center -Piquette Square just down the street. And three boxes of left over feminine gloves, hats, scarves along with half of the feminine supplies will be taken to a Dr.s office in the area that serves under privileged women.
Every year this we get more and more dialed in and it takes less time, next year the event will be more condensed and the Community Potluck Dinner will start just after the event ends..so we can include more people who pack in the dinner-breaking bread with folks you just worked with is a sure way to strengthen connections.
So while the final count is not in yet but we did fill over 400 backpacks and of those- 126 were taken by volunteers before the end of the event so they could be given out.
and the timing is perfect.. while the weather has been a bit warm lately the temps are supposed to drop to the 30s this evening.
There were information boards this year for BWB Detroit’s other project Free Store to show what we do. This were to help explain to the new volunteers our history and how they can be involved moving forward. Thank you to Madeline Frost, Alex Janoski and Mark Rothman for making those.
(sadly the image is out of focus! but you get the idea)
A very special shout out to Ashisa Philips who showed up with a crew after having spread the word to many bike clubs in the city. I am told they were about 5 bike clubs and a motorcycle club and they collectively took about 50 backpacks and one group came from as far as Ypsilanti. They were great to work with and help so much with the backpacking and the community dinner event as well. The best part is that they want to stay connected and involved. We very much look forward to building this relationship and collaborating on future projects.
Big thanks to all the bike clubs The Truth Riderz were there as well as the D-town Riders Bike Club. and our Brotherhood Clubs Detroit Lane Bangers, Night Owl Riders, Queens & Divas and Pedal up riders.
I want to give another special shout out to the folks in Detroit who helped back this event happen while I was out of town. All the folks listed below as well as Kathryn Fe-Dork-o, Jessica Ann and Tall Tony!! Without the dedication and time commitment to this project while doxie was out of town this event would not haven happened!!
So many people contribute in so many ways….and even as Xania did who showed up from Breaking Borders just in time to purchase 400 additional cans of protein to supplement the pax!
Just some of the supplies for the event.. and no they were not boxes of t-shirts but brand new supplies to fill the brand new backpacks. Thanks to E-Z Ford for the extended use of his trailer to collect and move the supplies. Thanks to Tall Tony and Jason(shit-ton) for fetching all the supplies and esp to Jason for working the event on his Birthday!
Small bow to everyone…..I am so excited to get home and hit the streets. Already receiving emails from people who loved the event and want to go out with me to learn how to do it!!
See you all very soon