But we can’t do this without your donations of time and money to the project! Especially as we set up, financial contributions are most urgently needed. If we meet our goal within the next two weeks, we can have our first Hope Package assembly and distribution in early January!
Our class, many of whom are unhoused, housing insecure, and chronically homeless need the essentials of life to survive day by day. It is essential to keep the momentum going by helping the poor as much as possible. This is not charity, however; it’s a project to build solidarity, provide political education, and raise consciousness and struggle by building unity across the diverse sectors of our class.
PSL organizer Doris Jones, who has personally survived being homeless, and is spearheading this project, put it best: “it is very important to help those in need who are less fortunate. These people have stories just like me. It's important to stop overlooking those in need and start hearing their stories.” If it wasn’t for these services, Doris wouldn’t be the leader she is today.
Hope Packages: Building Unity Through Solidarity, is where the people of working and oppressed communities come together to assemble care packages to distribute wherever they are: whether commuting or running errands. Whenever we see a homeless person or someone in need, that's our chance to give the person the kit, ask their name, and talk to them; to build connections; because every person has a story and a struggle.
Read more about the project and what the kits consist of below:
An average kit will include:
water; underwear; socks; gloves; scarves; hats; glove warmers; combs/ brushes; sanitary pads &/or tampons; travel size soap, shampoo/conditioner and toothpaste and toothbrushes; wet wipes and sanitizing wipes; bandages and wound care; tissues, and hand sanitizer; and bus passes. Bus passes are especially essential to help people move around the city and feel a greater sense of agency. Depending on need, some hope packages will include reading glasses.
non-perishable food items like granola and breakfast bars; canned and bottled beverages; glucose or electrolyte drinking powder; microwavable soup cups; jerky and cured meats; and more.
At least once a month, we’ll meet to assemble the kits and then later to distribute them at various places throughout the city.
The Indianapolis branch of the PSL and Indy10 are initiating the project to provide direct aid and to build political consciousness and solidarity among the various communities across Indianapolis, but more specifically to provide aid to the deeply impoverished and unhoused, to build solidarity through action!
This is the same ethos the Black Panther Party had with their “Free Breakfast Programs” and their numerous (over 200) programs they called “survival pending revolution.” While corporate history presents these programs as merely providing charity, they were always also aimed at building alliances, creating unity, and raising consciousness.
We ask that you give what you can so we can start building these kits to serve the most economically and racially oppressed people across Indianapolis. Ultimately, we have more in common with the homeless person we pass on the street than we do with the billionaire in a high rise. This is because we are more likely to become homeless than we are to become a billionaire.
It is our duty to fight for our freedom!
It is our duty to win!
We must love each other and support one another!
We have nothing to lose but our chains!
— Assata Shakur