Becoming More Aware of Others


Becoming More Aware of Others  

THE IDEA FOR PACKS FOR PROSPERITY CAME TO ME SLOWLY

AS I WAS BECOMING MORE AWARE OF OTHERS….

IN SO MANY WAYS. GETTING OUTSIDE OF MYSELF.

I RUN A SMALL COMPANY THAT OFFERS VIRTUAL SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS AND SMALL BUSINESSES MOSTLY IN THE EAST VALLEY AND METRO PHOENIX AND SCOTTSDALE. I USUALLY WORK FROM HOME. BUT OVER THE PAST YEAR I HAVE FOUND MYSELF TRAVELING IN MY CAR UP AND DOWN THE 101 FREEWAY TO AND FROM SCOTTSDALE OR PHOENIX TO MEET WITH CLIENTS AT COFFEE SHOPS AND LUNCH SPOTS.   IN MY TRAVELS I HAVE BECOME AWARE OF THE INCREASING NUMBER OF HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS ON THE STREET AND MOST ESPECIALLY ON FREEWAY OFF-RAMPS. IT WAS NOT A GENTLE AWARENESS… IT BECAME A DAILY AWARENESS… IT SEEMED EVERYWHERE I WENT THERE WAS SOMEONE WHO WAS IN NEED, MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN. Click To Tweet THIS STARTED TO PULL AT ME AT ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT.   I AM NOT ONE TO CARRY CASH IN MY WALLET, I ALMOST NEVER HAVE CASH ON HAND. SO I WAS THINKING OF WAYS THAT I COULD HELP BY HAVING SOMETHING IN MY CAR, POSSIBLY IN MY BACKSEAT THAT I COULD REACH BEHIND AND GRAB AND HAND OUT TO THOSE IN NEED ON THE FREEWAY OFF RAMPS.   I HAVE BEEN THINKING AND THINKING AND PRAYING ABOUT IT ….. AND HOW I COULD BE OF SERVICE…. AND I SOON REALIZED THAT ONCE I STARTED…… THE UNIVERSE STEPPED IN TO GUIDE ME TO TAKE ACTION TO DO IT.   SO I DECIDED THAT BACKPACKS WOULD BE A GREAT WAY TO OFFER ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES TO THOSE IN NEED AND THEY WOULD BE SOMETHING YOU COULD HAVE ALREADY PREPARED AND KEEP IN YOUR CAR ….. SAY ONE OR TWO AT A TIME.   MY FRIEND AND I DECIDED TO TAKE A DAY TO GO DOWNTOWN TO THE HOMELESS CAMPUS IN PHOENIX TO INTERVIEW CLIENTS TO ASSESS THEIR IMMEDIATE NEEDS. THE “CAMPUS” IS KNOWN NATIONALLY AS BEING ONE OF ITS KIND….. THEIR MISSION IS TO PROVIDE SHELTER AND SUPPORTIVE SERVICES TO MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN WITH DIVERSE NEEDS TO END THEIR HOMELESSNESS…..   Becoming More Aware of Others   IN MY RESEARCH ON HOMELESSNESS IN ARIZONA I HAVE FOUND THESE STATISTICS:  

  1. 82,000 individuals are receiving emergency food boxes each week in Arizona.
  2. More than 14,000 experience homelessness each day.
  3. 30% of the homeless population are children and teens.
  4. In one year, the working poor in Arizona have seen a 10% increase in costs to maintain basic living necessities such as food, shelter and clothing.
  5. Almost 50% of the homeless are women, children or families.
  6. The fastest growing segment of the homeless population is families with children.
  7. 43% of children living in homeless families are under the age of 6.
  8. 16% of the single adult population suffers from some form of severe or persistent mental illness.
  9. At least 40% of the adult homeless population has an addiction disorder.
  10. 23% of homeless men are US veterans.

  WHILE BEING ON THE CAMPUS, WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO PHOTOGRAPH OR VIDEOTAPE LIKE WE WANTED TO, AS THE CAMPUS IS STRICT ABOUT PROTECTING THE RIGHTS AND PRIVACY OF THE CLIENTS THEY SERVE ON THE CAMPUS. ALL CLIENTS MUST WEAR AN ID BADGE TO ACCESS SERVICES IN AND ABOUT THE CAMPUS. BUT WE WERE ALLOWED TO HANG OUT AND TALK TO WHOMEVER WAS WILLING.   WE MET A YOUNG WOMAN NAMED ALLISON WHO HAD BEEN HOMELESS FOR 9 MONTHS. SHE WAS EAGER TO TALK AND WAS EXTREMELY INTERESTED IN WHY WE WERE THERE AND WHAT WE DID FOR A LIVING. SHE WAS IN HER EARLY 30s AND HAD A COLLEGE DEGREE. SHE DID NOT SHARE HOW SHE HAPPENED TO BE ON THE CAMPUS AND WHAT HAD KEPT HER THERE FOR 9 MONTHS. SHE DID SHARE OPENLY THAT THERE WAS A GREAT NEED ON THE STREETS FOR BASIC ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES. BACKPACKS, SHE SAID WERE A TREASURE. TO BE ABLE TO CARRY THE THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO GET THROUGH THE DAYS AND NIGHTS WAS EVERYTHING.   SHE EXPLAINED THAT IN ADDITION TO THAT, THAT YOU THEN HAD TO PROTECT YOUR BELONGINGS MOST OF THE TIME AND MOST ESPECIALLY WHILE SLEEPING IN SHELTERS … AND THAT BACKPACKS COULD BE STRAPPED ON OR YOU COULD WRAP YOUR ARMS THROUGH IT WHILE SLEEPING.   WHILE TALKING WITH HER I WITNESSED MANY CLIENTS RUMMAGING THROUGH GARBAGE CANS SEARCHING FOR AND PULLING OUT PLASTIC BAGS TO CARRY LEFT OVER FOOD AND OR OTHER SUPPLIES. REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES WERE ANOTHER NECESSITY AND SHE MENTIONED THAT THEY COULD REFILL THEM AT CIRCLE K AND GAS STATIONS. IN ADDITION TO PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS SHE ALSO MENTIONED COLOGNE AND LAUNDRY SOAP AS BEING A LUXURY. SHE SAID THAT LIVING ON THE STREET IT IS HARD TO KEEP YOUR BODY AND CLOTHING CLEAN.   OF COURSE TRANSPORTATION IS ANOTHER PROBLEM AND WALKING BECOMES UNBEARABLE IN OUR CLIMATE WHEN TRYING TO GET TO APPOINTMENTS ON FOOT AND MANY SERVICES ARE ACROSS TOWN, SO LIGHT RAIL OR BUS PASSES ARE HOT ITEMS.   THERE ARE RESOURCES IN THE EAST VALLEY THAT OFFER SOCIAL SERVICES TO CLIENTS WHO LIVE ON THE STREET AND THERE IS THE HUGE HOMELESS CAMPUS IN PHOENIX, THAT IS ASSISTING THEM WITH TRANSITIONING FROM LIVING ON THE STREET TO FINDING HOUSING AND EMPLOYMENT. BUT… THE GOAL OF PACKS FOR PROSPERITY IS TO PROVIDE BASIC AND ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES TO THOSE DIRECTLY IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND COMMUNITIES.   I HOPE TO INCLUDE IN OUR BACKPACKS, REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES, SNACKS, SUNSCREEN, PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS, TARPS, PAPER AND PENS, INSPIRATIONAL MATERIAL, AND RECOVERY INFORMATION. WE HAVE ALSO CREATED A RESOURCE CARD THAT LISTS SERVICES IN THE EAST VALLEY AND PHOENIX FOR THOSE WHO ARE LOOKING FOR THESE SERVICES AND DO NOT KNOW WHERE TO FIND THEM.   PACKS FOR PROSPERITY IS NOT A NONPROFIT, AND I ALMOST DECIDED IT WOULD BE TOO MUCH TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS PROJECT AS CREATING A NONPROFIT WOULD BE QUITE AN UNDERTAKING AND REQUIRE A LARGE FINANCIAL START UP AND A COMMITMENT TO CONTINUE TO OPERATE IT IN THAT CAPACITY.   BUT AGAIN… WHILE I WAS MEETING WITH A COLLEAGUE OF MINE SHE ASKED ME HOW MY PROJECT WAS GOING AND I EXPLAINED MY RELUCTANCY IN CREATING THE NON PROFIT AND SHE REMINDED ME THAT SHE MANAGED A NONPROFIT HERE IN THE VALLEY – THE SIMPLE RULES FOUNDATION. SHE EAGERLY OFFERED AN OPPORTUNITY TO ME:  THAT PACKS FOR PROSPERITY COULD BECOME A PROGRAM UNDER THEIR EXISTING NONPROFIT FOUNDATION.   The SIMPLE RULES FOUNDATION BELIEVES THAT SMALL ACTIONS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD; AND EACH OF US HAS THE INFINITE POWER TO INFLUENCE IT.   IT IS NOT THE PURPOSE OF PACKS FOR PROSPERITY TO ANSWER THE QUESTION OF WHY SOMEONE IS HOMELESS. IT IS OUR GOAL TO PROVIDE BASIC AND ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES TO THOSE IN NEED IN OUR COMMUNITY WHO MAY NEED IT. AND TO Be a compassionate human exchange of kindness and helpfulness for one moment in another person's life. Click To Tweet IF THAT IS WHAT WE DO WITH ONE PACK OR A MILLION PACKS, THAN WE HAVE SUCCEEDED.   THIS IS ONE SIMPLE THING THAT I HAVE DECIDED TO DO TO MAKE A CHANGE IN THIS COMMUNITY AND I AM SO GRATEFUL TO ALL OF THE INDIVIDUALS WHO CHOOSE TO HELP IN ANY WAY WITH THIS PROJECT AND FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN CREATING THESE BACKPACKS ALONG WITH ME. I FEEL THAT WE CAN BE THE DIFFERENCE THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.   TO CONTINUE TO DONATE SUPPLIES OR TO MAKE MONETARY DONATIONS YOU MAY CONTACT ME DIRECTLY OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.PACKSFORPROSPERITY.COM   YOU MAY LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SIMPLE RULES FOUNDATION BY VISITING THEIR WEBSITE AT WWW.SIMPLERULESFOUNDATION.ORG   ALL FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE AND MAY BE MADE OUT TO SIMPLE RULES FOUNDATION AND NOTE THAT IT IS FOR PACKS FOR PROSPERITY.   Becoming More Aware of Others  

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