Our official Indiegogo fundraiser is over, but you can still volunteer or donate to this great cause. Message Hikers for the Homeless on facebook to find out how. Read on below to find out what we are all about. Thanks!
We hit our first goal! We raised about $50 a day so let's try for a stretch goal of $1618. If we raise an additional $300 that will enable us to provide 15 more kits. Who can help ? If we hit our stretch goal, everyone who donated previously and selected a perk at the $20 level or above AND everyone who donates at least $20 until the end of the campaign will get an extra perk of CHOCOLATE! So if you donated before and you donate again - that's right, double chocolate! Keep sharing and donating and let's make this happen!!!!!!!! If the thermometer explodes and we surpass our stretch goal, there will be an extra surprise perk besides the chocolate for everyone who donated. That's right, everyone! We'll keep track of our progress below:
Who is Hikers for the Homeless?
For those of you who don't already know, Hikers for the Homeless is an organization I started about a year ago because I could not bear passing by a person with a sign asking for help and having nothing to give. So I looked through my medicine cabinet and my drawers and put a few things aside to keep in my car and pass out, even if I did not have a spare dollar. Over time, I developed a stash of these kits as I began to look for clearance items and ask friends for their spare hotel soaps and travel shampoos. As I started passing out more and more kits, it amazed me that through the simple act of keeping baggies in my car filled with lightweight nonperishable food items, toiletries, clean socks and band-aids, I was able to become someone's hero. These items that meant so much to them and helped improve their quality of life dramatically were gathering dust in the back of my cupboards just hours earlier.
Why Hikers? Why Survival Kits?Being a lifelong lover of the outdoors (my parents even met while canoeing!) and of hiking, canoeing, and camping, seeing the way homeless people struggle to live outside brought an entirely new perspective. I think about how good that first hot shower feels after a return from a long camping trip and it makes me sad there are people who are outside right now who will not experience that. When we go hiking and forget an essential item, whether it be toilet paper, toothbrushes, matches etc., it has a great effect on the trip and we have to do without. This is how the homeless live every day but this could easily be prevented by a little help from those of us who have more than enough to share.
The idea of survival kits is important to me because even though the overall goal should be to secure housing for every homeless person, the reality is that there are many who currently live outdoors. Although there are services to provide food during the day and temporary shelter at night, very little exists by way of help for the homeless to survive the daytime outside - that is where Hikers for the Homeless can help.
Why we need your help: The breakdown.
Buying toiletries at the dollar store is inefficient. One small soap is 50 cents, but if bought in bulk, we can get soap for as little as 8 cents each. If we all join in, a little bit from all of us can make a big difference. If Hikers for the Homeless is approved for nonprofit status, that will enable us to apply for grants from the government and private foundations and possibly make an even bigger difference. We'd also like to start sleep-outs and hikes to raise money and bring more awareness. It's a new year, and if we work together, great things are bound to happen.
Here is how we will spend the money if our goal is met or surpassed:
$75 to apply for incorporation in New York State
$400 to apply for recognition as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization
$1000 to make 50 complete survival kits for local homeless men and women
$93 Indiegogo and Paypal fees
- $250 (the amount of money I have personally saved already)
If we do not raise the full amount, the funds will go towards filling for incorporation first and nonprofit status and then towards making kits.
If we raise more, we will simply make more kits! There are about 400 homeless people on any given night in Syracuse, so $8568 would allow us to make one kit for each of them. We have added perks to help us reach the needed amount. If you would like to give your perk as a gift to someone else, please contact me and let me know.