Huge success on our first day distributing kits at the Gig Harbor YMCA. We're super excited about how much this is going to help us grow and reach even more of our homeless neighbors!
Thanks to the Newman Center up at Western Washington University for distributing some of our kits last December. This entry, written by Anton Ziska, is a great reflection on the work and impact that we make when we work together.
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Our universal kits contain a first aid kit with $1.27 worth of materials plus other hygiene- and snack-related items which bring the total kit cost up to $6.82. This cost would be $8.82 if it weren't for a couple large donations of socks and soap. Today's blog post takes us into an analysis of our kit contents and we welcome your thoughts and feedback!
We strive to allow you to make our programs yours. This Deep Dive is all about your options as a donor. Donate so that you know 100% of your contribution makes it directly to those in need. Or find a useful balance between that and supporting our operation. We describe here what we do to put the power to choose in your hands.
Fees paid by donors contributing to our Card & Kit account in 2017 have been paid for by our operating cost budget. This means that EVERY PENNY of your contributions from 2017 ended up helping someone in need directly. Thank you!
One of the characteristics that we hope sets Northwest Hospitality apart, is our transparency and the accessibility of information that might be useful to our donors. Our deep dive series of blog posts is intended to give you more information than you could possibly want while hopefully answering all your questions instead of giving you more. Chapter I is focused on the Donation tracking tool on our Operation Details page.
Last year we spent some time applying for grants to no avail. It's extremely challenging so if we happen to have any supporters out there who are versed in finding appropriate grants, understanding what exactly they are looking for, and writing strong applications, we'd be very grateful to benefit from your expertise.
If it's possible, I am willing to learn from you and make an attempt at the work myself. But if you are willing (or maybe even eager :) ) to take on such a task, we'd love to welcome someone into the fold as an official grant writer. Please get in touch if you think you might be interested or want more information!
Meet our new project, Haircuts for Our Homeless Neighbors. We will be distributing haircut vouchers in our hospitality kits to allow our neighbors the freedom to get their hair cut anywhere, anytime, on us.
NWH is working on our networking skills. Today, after an hour of distributing hospitality cards and kits in Seattle, Anton met (and played soccer) with some of the folks over at Street Soccer Seattle. They meet at University Presbyterian with a mission to bring people living on the street into their program to help them learn life skills and offer a healthy, fun activity.
Soccer meshes teamwork, individual effort, and many other invaluable virtues that make it a great tool for improvements in many different aspects of life. Street Soccer Seattle has brought its team around the country for tournaments and always represents Seattle well.
We met after their practice about where the strategies of our two organizations might overlap and how we can help each other. For now they are helping to distribute a few kits and I've included cards about their community in the kits that will be handed out around the University District. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together.
First batch of Subway cards are ready for distribution!
Back in 2012 I had an idea that I posted on Starbuck's idea page called Share Mug. Basically I wanted to give people gift cards that would be useful so stick the bar code on a re-usable mug and give it out that way. The idea didn't get any votes so I tried to repurpose it into something that would still work. I contacted some folks at several banks and card companies to try to devise something I called the Samaritan Card. The idea here is to have cards, as opposed to cash, to hand out to people that are asking for help. The cards could be one-use or reloadable, linked to an account that you manage online...I even toyed with some ideas of having scannable barcodes or QR codes on the cards so that other people could donate to that card with their phones. Unfortunately this died a quick death when it came time to actually execute any aspects of it because none of the card companies could figure out a way to make it work.
I can't get this desire out of my head. It would be such a useful tool in the fight against hunger, making it easier for people to be generous and removing a few of the barriers some people experience when thinking about giving that handout...not all of the barriers but it eliminates a few such as wondering if the cash will be used to purchase drugs, alcohol, or smokes. To this end, I wanted to have these cards accepted at restricted locations where such purchases would be at least minimized (this was before the laws changed, back when liquor couldn't be purchased at the grocery store or gas station). But the idea didn't go anywhere so it's apparently been percolating in my subconscious and recently returned with a vengeance .
For the past few months I've been working on putting together Homeless Hospitality Kits.