On Thanksgiving morning, the Real Change office was filled with coats, sleeping bags and a line topping 175 anxious recipients. In the weeks leading up to the Surviving the Streets giveaway, sponsored by the Finish Company, donations poured in from local businesses and individuals.
When those waiting in line that morning finally made it into the office, they were greeted with "personal shoppers," volunteers who walked them through the office and helped them collect the gear they most needed: socks, gloves, hats, coats and fleeces, sleeping bags, blankets, boots and hygiene kits. Umbrellas and scarves were handed out in line, along with coffee and breakfast.
Throughout the morning, we watched from the office as other members of the community felt inspired by the giving spirit, showing up on the street to pass out food and blankets to those waiting outside. The recipients showed immense patience and gratitude despite early hours and freezing temperatures. It was a success for those who received donations and for the community that pulled together to make this holiday season a little bit warmer.
Total items distributed: 92 sleeping bags, 3 sleeping pads, 57 blankets, 53 backpacks, 24 duffle bags, 60 pairs of boots and 346 winter coats.