Homeless, Not Hopeless

$7,764 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 141 people in 22 months
Friends, Families & People wanting to make a difference:

I'm calling on you to help make CHANGE for those that are homeless and living in unbearable winter conditions at this moment. 

Living in Philadelphia, I am continuously devastated to see how many homeless people there are suffering throughout the city, especially during this season. There are rows and rows of people who are homeless, standing with signs on corners, laying without blankets on the streets, and seeking shelter in subways and underpasses. 

I don't know about you, but in this weather, I scurry to and from any place I am leaving or going to because most times, it's too cold to stay outside much longer than that. Now, while I may have a few brutal minutes outside, I am fortunate enough to know that I am heading somewhere soon that has heat or things that I need to make me warm. I have a cabinet with food in it. I have access to a warm shower to clean myself. I have a space to call my own. I have a space where I feel safe. I have people to lean on.

I want you to imagine not having a place to go to, to feel safe in, or to not have enough money to grab something warm to wear or to eat. Not having people to turn to, besides absolute strangers on the streets.

And I'm aware there is a stigma surrounding the homeless populations and the reasons of why they're in the predicament they're in. After getting to know their truths, I can say that more times than not, these stigmas are proven wrong and are broken in just a single conversation. Above all else, one thing remains true:

These people are people just like you and me. These people are suffering. These people are seeking kindness and help. These people need us.

It may be easy to say, "well, that's their problem", or "someone else will help", or "there are too many to actually make a difference", or "there's no way I can afford to help them all". 

But that's where we are wrong. 

As Ronald Reagan said, "we can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone". 

I am asking for $5 donations to help raise funds for care packages for & requests from homeless people here in Philadelphia. I would love to continue to build the backpack packages that we made last year (please see previous post for that), as they were greatly appreciated and addressed a lot of their needs.

In a time where we all are seeking unity and coming together, and to feel the love again, please consider donating to this cause, as I know it will truly make a huge difference in the life of someone who needs it. Most importantly, we can spread warmth and love to the many so desperately needing not only our help & compassion, but also a little bit of hope. 

Thank you, so much.

Please reach out to me individually with any questions you may have!
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WHAT. AN. EVENT!!!

Without beer proceeds/sales included, today's raffles/wristbands and general donations have raised a total of $1,632!!!!!!! <3

Sending out a huge hug and THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support Kelly Brown, the 10 competitors, and the Homeless, Not Hopeless Campaign. It was awe-inspiring to see the fantastic turn out, the contagious smiles, and the generous hearts that united today to celebrate the chance to make a difference. I think it's safe to say, Maria Topcatt stole our hearts and the show today - I'm so grateful to Maria, William Reed, the judges, raffle item donors, photographer, stage assistance, the DJ, bar tenders, event helpers and the competitors for their time, energy, and love today.

To everyone who donated, bought a bracelet, drinks, raffle tickets, or made general donations: your donation means more than you could ever know. Above all, your support and turn out today was so appreciated and so very important in this fight to make the hopeless, hopeful. I am forever thankful for you all.

It was so nice to meet so many of you. I told a lot of you today, that it only takes one person to believe in what you're doing to make a huge difference. Kelly Brown... thank you for believing in this cause. Thank you for that text a few months ago saying "I have an idea. Let's do a workout event, all proceeds will go to your charity. When can you meet?" Your ideas you dreamt up over just three months and executed today are something you should be proud of for life. I'm in awe of you. Thank you to you and William Reed for lending your big hearts, time, and energy organizing something that will help impact the lives of so many. I speak for everyone when I say, TODAY WAS AMAZING!

If you're interested, please follow the Homeless, Not Hopeless Journey of donations over the next month or two so you can see just where your donations are going. I have always enjoyed the quote, "I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized, I am that somebody." Thank you all for being that somebody today. Endless love and gratitude to you all.
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YEAR 3: HERE WE GO! It's about that time, friends...

Just 8 days until our first ever fundraising event created/held by Kelly Brown at Johnny Brenda's Workout for Warmth: A Benefit for Homeless, Not Hopeless Charity! I am so excited to have such a creative and fun way to officially kick off this year's fundraising season! Please join us and check out the event page to learn more :) We will have FANTASTIC raffles, discounted beer with wristband purchase, & not to mention an incredible battle for "workout warrior" in a series of fitness challenges between some of Philadelphia's great athletes! All to prep for the Eagles vs. Cowboys game later that day. https://www.facebook.com/events/313686362695558/

My Homeless, Not Hopeless Campaign was born out of the idea to not only help those on the streets of Philadelphia to find immediate small help and relief, but to remind them that they are seen, they are not alone, and that they matter. Over the past two years, your generosity and kindness have helped to do that in more ways than you know or see. With every single dollar donated, every personal interaction held, every delivery, conversation, and hug, we are restoring hope and human connection to those who have to be devastatingly vulnerable every day. Over the past two years, together, we were able to raise over $4,700 (!!!) - My hefty goal for this year is to do that in just this year's fundraising alone. (We are already close to $550, and we haven't even officially kicked off!) I believe we can double our impact and make a bigger difference for those who need it the most. I am SO thankful to everyone who has believed in this campaign, believed that I would care for your donations correctly, and put them to good use. I can't wait to continue to share in this once again with you <3 This world needs more people like you. Thank you.

Please, join me in sharing with friends, donate or learn more about the campaign by visiting the link below!

FYI: it still has the $4700 from last year in the goal portion (it won't let me clear it!)
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YEAR THREE! So excited to be kicking off this year's Homeless, Not Hopeless Campaign with a first-ever benefit event (Huge shout out and thanks to Kelly Brown for dreaming up/creating this idea)! We can't wait to see you on December 9th for a great time (w. a great competition, discounted drink wristbands, and raffles!)

* * Many of you know the impact of my campaign and since it is a small self-run online fundraiser, it has been difficult to acquire items as donations for the raffle baskets from bigger companies and corporations. I've reached out to some friends and family but if there are any of you who have any interest in donating some sort of tickets, gift card, merch, or items in connections with where you work, at the house you never used or plan on using, or someone you may know for one of these baskets, it would be a HUGE help! All ticket sales will go directly to the campaign. Please let me know!

In the mean time - check out our FB event page Workout for Warmth: A Benefit for Homeless, Not Hopeless Charity and we hope to see you there!

Stay tuned for more updates as we approach the fundraising window for this year's HNH.
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And just like that, this year's Homeless, Not Hopeless Campaign is complete!!!

A look at statistics: I'm incredibly proud to say that this year was even more successful than last year. Not only were greater funds raised, but with those funds we were able to increase our care packages to 35 (as opposed to 25 last year), add more money to each of the gift cards, add other essentials like gloves & health products, twice as many socks in each bag, as well as 35 cold-weather, waterproof sleeping bags to go along with each package!

This increased impact is all because of YOU.

There really aren't words for how much I appreciate each and every one of you for believing in this cause, donating, and lending your hearts to those who you may never get to meet yourselves in your life. Each time a donation came in, or a post was shared, or even simply words of encouragement were passed along, it truly meant the world and I hope you know that.

In distributing each of the bags this year, you can imagine there were a ton of really special moments that I would have loved for you to be there for and to share in. Believe it or not, these people remembered this campaign (could have just been the bright blue royal backpacks again...) Whether someone was thanking God over and over again at the fact that they were offered a sleeping bag or telling us how much they needed to get new glasses with the gift card we gave them, it is obvious how what may feel like nothing to us can be a world's difference to them. Gloves were thrown on immediately, new socks were quickly replacing old ones, and sighs of relief were consistently present.

As mentioned in a FB post:
This much I know: A conversation can go a long way. So can a pair of socks or gloves. So can a few gift cards. So can a sleeping bag. And so can a hug. Because of you all, 35 people got to have a little bit of all of that this year. There aren’t words to express how it feels to run into friends from last year, like the one in the attached picture (who gives the best, tearful, grateful hugs), and learn they are still struggling. There aren’t words to express how it feels to hear another friend is finally after 2 years getting into an apartment this week. But there also aren’t words to express how fortunate I feel to be able to deliver YOUR love, YOUR contributions, and YOUR help to those who need it most.

I very literally could not have done this without you. Each dollar helped in more ways than you could imagine. Please know how much your support means and will forever mean to me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank YOU for giving us the chance to do this for the second year & remember for the next time you see a homeless brother or sister, "Anything helps - even just a smile :)."

Cheers to another amazing year. Love you all.
Each care package consisted of this:
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$7,764 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 141 people in 22 months
Created February 5, 2017
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JB
$25
Joselyn Berrios
2 days ago

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of so many human beings ❤️

W(
$287
Wristband Sales (KB)
3 days ago (Offline Donation)
WE
$1,632
Workout For Warmth Event
4 days ago (Offline Donation)

Wristbands + Raffles (not including beer proceeds)

$100
Anonymous
5 days ago
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