For the third year and what has become a holiday tradition, the BlueVolt team eschewed sending gifts to customers during the holidays and instead, created and distributed Warming Kits to those without homes in the Portland area. These warming kits each contain wool socks, a stocking hat, wool gloves, a scarf, a sweet treat and a voucher good for a meal at Sisters of the Road café.
BlueVolt employees purchase and make the items for the kits. Again this year, we engaged the other businesses housed in the Portland State Business Accelerator in the effort, setting up donation boxes to collect the needed items. We also let our customers know what we were doing and gave them the opportunity to donate toward the cost of the meal vouchers. Don Spear, our president and CEO, personally matched those customers’ donations, thereby increasing the number of vouchers and kits we could create. Everyone gathered to help build the kits last week, assembling 105 warming kits.
We are now in the process of personally hand-delivering the warming kits to those we see in need. Carolyn Glass, of Sisters of the Road, said that the hand-delivery is the best way to distribute the kits; “Most people just drop stuff off for the agencies to hand out and never have any contact with the street folks. Just having the conversation to ask if they would like a kit is so important since most people pretend like folks experiencing homelessness aren’t even there.”
Photo credit: TotoVo on Flickr