On Monday February 28th I had the great fortune of meeting some community members who live in the downtown neighbourhood close to Sherbrook and Ellice. I wanted to sit down with them and listen to what is going on in their community and where they could use the most help. The community people were both young and old and of every cultural background – they truly represented how multicultural Winnipeg is. It was wonderful to listen to their stories meet their children and find out how they are doing financially, physically and emotionally.
Getting to know these people is allowing me to see where we can distribute the socks we raise through warm toes. It is my dedication to meet with the people we aim to help on a weekly bases to encourage and see the progress they are making.
The head office staff at Travel Professionals International came through for us and supported us in a big way. With a seed donation of $161.03!! Wow, thanks guys and girls. This donation official starts warmtoes on it’s way. We’ll always remember that you got us started. Thank you again, for the money, and the encouragement. We’ll keep you posted as to the ongoing progress to our goal of 1000 socks but know you guys started it and the start of any journey is the most important.
On Louis Riel day many people were looking for a place to find community, warm up, share a meal, laugh and forget about their difficulties. They found it at Apage Table which is also where I found myself. I decided to go volunteer in hopes of meeting some people in need of friendship and an ear to talk to. The idea was to listen to their stories to find out what life on the streets i like and what their needs are. This way we can raise money to help where they most need it. At first, there was this US vs THEM mentality where the locals saw the volunteers as outsiders who couldn’t understand what they were going through but as the minutes passed and the volunteers became interested in their conversations, card game successes and neighbourhood tales something great happened – the divide was bridged and people started to see each other as friends. I sat playing 10’s (a new card game to me) with four characters that were funny, genuine and a bit too honest. They told of life on the street, visits to shelters and the many changes that were needed to make the system better. They also spoke a little of their families and casual jobs they were just starting. It became apparent that they were going to need other people to encourage them in their fresh start. I look forward to seeing them again and want to discover more ways to help – socks is just the beginning!
We’ve contacted Stanfields (the sock and underwear manufacturer in Truro, NS, there’s a good chance you own some of their goods if your Canadian) and asked about direct purchases of socks. They agreed if we buy 100 socks from them for a purchase price of $2.50 a pair. So that’s $2500 we would have to raise if we want to make our goal of 1000 socks by Feb of next year (or less, as if we bought them all at once we could probably get a better per unit rate).
It’s very generous of them as this particular pair of socks retails for $5 each, so they are very decent socks for our purposes.
So I’ve made a pitch to the committee at work that handles charitable donations, I’ve asked some of their surplus charitable funds they have for 2010. With it we could buy the stock we need to have on-site pancake breakfasts at businesses to raise further money. Essentially it would be our seed money. Our needs are modest as we’re bootstrapping this thing as much as possible.
Let’s wait and see what happens.