About Us: Behind The Project
Why We're Doing This
VALUES: OUR IDENTITY
Community: we're better together.
Generosity: give without worry.
Care: provide for anyone.
VISION: OUR JOURNEY
Empower and connect people to give hope, receive help, and develop opportunity for a better life at home.
MISSION: our focus
Through community, generously meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness to restore well-being and influence housing.
GOALS: OUR FUTURE
1. Bring hope to anyone, no matter where they are, of a place they can call their own.
2. Transform a city to nurture people with confidence and without hesitation.
3. Bridge organizations, businesses, institutions, and people to be a part of the solution.
4. Build trust and relationship with the people we help to validate dignity and integrity.
5. Do anything we can and everything that hasn't been tried to serve more and be a model for others.
The First Time
As the holidays loomed closer and closer, the days in El Paso were buzzing more than other months. The city's streets, stores, and airport were crowded with people rushing to make the most out of Thanksgiving and Christmas. While people prepared to gather with friends and family during this season, we were also passing by the men, women, and even children who would have to do without.
These lives would stand alone and humiliated having to panhandle from dawn to dusk braving the bitter desert cold as well as sudden inclement weather. Some of these men and women had it even worse as they tried to survive, not only disadvantaged, but also with debilitating injuries or illnesses that they have carried for months, if not years.
With little to work with and hardly anything to hope for, the original people behind what eventually became The Giving Project took it upon themselves to empower some of these people and give them as much as possible to make it through an overwhelmingly challenging time.
What Was In A Bag?
In the span of one weekend, ideas came together and we budgeted supplies to fit in a drawstring backpack to easily distribute. Considering the cold season, we included the following items:
- Knit gloves/hand warmers
- Tube socks
- Mylar blanket
- Lip balm
- Toothbrush/toothpaste kit
- Travel-size mouthwash
- Wet wipes
- Travel-size shampoo
- Small comb for men
- Small brush for women
- Hand sanitizer
- Band-aid dispenser
- Facial tissue
- Nail clippers
Rations (in a separate plastic bag)
- Water bottle
- Pudding pack
- Fruit cup
- Granola bars
- Cough drops
- $15 Walmart gift card
- $10 McDonald's gift card
In 2015, over 1,000 people in El Paso were counted to live without a roof over their head. Quite frankly, that's 1,000 people too many. If in a single day, all 15 bags were distributed on our first attempt, we know that the work and impact we can aspire to is huge. Having had this exposure first-hand was definitely humbling for but it wasn't enough to close the book on things; rather, it was the cue to turn the page and start the next chapter.
80% of homeless victims live on the streets for only 42 days or less on average. The remaining 20% are the chronic homeless with high-risk conditions, such as substance abuse and mental illness. As for the majority of the homeless population, most victims end up without a home when they are affected by poverty. If all it takes are items like deodorant to restore's someone's dignity and validate their confidence, then the mission of getting a backpack full of essentials to the homeless within reach is worth the effort.
We all have the opportunity to stretch our hands out to others and deliver these backpacks containing basic human goods that carry more value than they are worth to us.
Now to reach more people out of our scope on a long-term, self-sustaining basis beyond the holidays, we need your support.
How Can You Help?
A Hope For a Better Tomorrow
MESSAGE WRITTEN ON THe BACK OF Cards In 2015 Bags:
"You're worth it. We strongly believe that. You're worthy of our time, energy, and all of our love. Many people helped put all of this together simply because no one should feel left out, especially not during this time of the year.
This is not a project or a grade for a class somewhere. We don't even represent some big, fancy organization. Instead, we're just a group of people who put their efforts together to bring you a big reason to smile today.
We love you very much and we hope that the items in this backpack speak to that.
Happy Thanksgiving and we hope to see you around soon!"