It started in 1999 and it keeps growing
The husband and wife team of Patti Dunn and Michael Grabham have been giving out clothing, backpacks, and sleeping bags to homeless men and women in Seattle since 1999. For the past 3 years, they have partnered with Real Change to expand their reach and organize on a larger-scale, Thanksgiving Day event now known as “Survive the Streets”. At a time of ever-decreasing funding for homeless services from both the city and the county, personal donations are needed now more than ever. That’s why we are partnering with over a dozen businesses, community groups, and schools to hold survival gear drives for Survive the Streets.
Survive the Streets is a day that homeless people can walk through a department store like setting and choose the things that they want. We assist them in choosing, fitting and storing their gear. We listen to them and do the things we can to make this day a positive part of their lives.
Each year we have more people than we have goods to give so we are asking for help from everyone so this doesn’t happen in our 2012 event. Our goal is to get 10,000 people to join our cause so we can help thousands of people this year and start helping other cities do the same.
This one day event can happen in any city and at any time of the year with your help. We are on a mission to help homeless in all parts of the US by having a day of giving that gives residents the needed necessities for them to step away from living on the streets. Help us help your citizens in your city by clicking on the big blue button to the right.
Getting Ready for 2012
We are getting ready for our 2012 event that will take place in Seattle and we wanted to take a minute to thank all of the schools, businesses, and other organizations that have offered to put on “Gear Drives” for us.
We have a few elementary school classes that are putting on “Sock Drives” and “Glove Drives” and many high schools putting on “Sleeping Bag” and “Warm Coat” drives.The Seattle Mountaineers are on board and are collecting gently used sleeping bags from their members. We also have a few local gyms, Strength Studio in Seattle and Sound CrossFit that are going to be having “Sleeping Bag” drives.
We have been overwhelmed by the community support we have had so far this year for our event. Our goal is to to serve 250-300 of Seattle’s homeless on Thanksgiving Day and we know with the ongoing support from the community we will be successful in reaching this goal.
If you might be interested in holding a gear drive for us or even putting on a “Sleeping Bag” or “Glove & Hat” Party please contact Patti Dunn and she will help you out with any thing you might need to put on a successful drive.
2012 Was A Great Year
We finished up with our annual gear event we wanted to thank all of our local businesses and all the individuals that donated supplies, money and time to make sure we had a great day. We had more than a great day, it was the best event yet!
The morning started out not to cold and thanks to top pot donuts for coffee and donuts and to “Charlie’s Buns N Stuff” for cooking everyone a hot breakfast… It made the waiting in line a bit warmer for the hundreds of homeless men and women that showed up.
We opened the doors at 9:30 and we outfitted approximately 275 men and women before we ran out of survival gear. Our final count on items was:
- 200 Sleeping Bags and Warm Blankets
- 187 Warm Coats
- 85 Warm Fleeces
- 75 Pairs of Boots
- 84 Extra Warm Hoodies
- 89 Duffel Bags
- 120 Back packs
- 230 Pairs of Gloves
- 260 Warm hats
- 120 Waterproof Tarps
- 300 Cold/Hygiene Kits
It was our first year giving away boots, thanks to Trident Seafood, and it turned out to be a great thing. We had 75 pairs of boots to give away and they were all gone within the first hour we opened our doors. It is definitely something we will continue to do so we will be on the outlook for another boot sponsor next year.
It was great to have so many volunteers on board, including a few people from Mayor McGinn’s office. It seemed that our volunteers just know exactly what needed to be done. The love and respect each of them had for all of the homeless guy and gals that came through our doors was immense. I was so happy to hear one older homeless man say that he could “Just feel the love in the air”
It was so great to see that we could make the lives of at least 275 of Seattle’s homeless a bit more bearable throughout our long rainy winter. We will be back next year for our 14th annual “Survive the Streets Gear Giveaway” but in the meantime watch out for some new and exciting changes we are making here at “Survive the Streets”. These changes will change the lives of many more of Seattle’s homeless men and women.
On a special note…We here at “Survive the Streets” would really like to send a special thanks to all the schools that jumped on board and did “gear drives” for us. It was just so great to visit many of these schools and to see how the kids caught on to the idea that even kids can make a positive difference in the community when they work together. The relationships we have developed with these schools will really help us out in the years to come.