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April 21, 2011, Future Voices of America held our “Flash Mob of Kindness” [event] at Homestretch. We had about 20 people participate once it was all said and done, and have been told a few more have made donations since we left earlier today. People donated food, toiletries, clothes, and I was contacted by a small number of individuals who live outside of the area, really liked the organization we chose, and made monetary donations over the phone. Individuals from Tea Parties in the surrounding local communities, college students, and some who found us on the internet all came together today to help the efforts of this organization.
Homestretch is a donation based organization, located in Roswell, GA, which provides assistance to otherwise homeless families working to get back on their feet, and into a situation where they can provide permanent, sustainable housing for themselves. They operate under the premise of providing a hand up, not a hand out. All of the families they assist have children under the age of 18, and are working to get back on their feet and on their own. The provide classes and education for them on how to manage their budget, groceries, etc to give them they knowledge they need to be successful. There are 30 to 40 families being assisted by this organization. Their program director told me this morning, “we know for the families to have long term success, we can’t just give them fish, we have to teach them how to fish,” which is why I chose this organization as the location of FVA’s flash mob.
I wasn’t sure if anyone would show up this morning outside of the 4 of us who run Future Voices, but many did. Thanks to people finding out on Twitter, Facebook, and Freedom Connector, we collected more than expected. We actually filled an entire office with food and other items to help Homestretch in their efforts.
The people that run the organization were blown away, and very grateful. Before we left one of the program directors told me one of the families with them was having a rough month. The mother of this family works hard, but doesn’t make enough to meet the needs of her family, or qualify for enough food stamps to feed her children. Some of what we donated will get her family through the rest of the month, and allow her to put a little aside to avoid this situation next month.
It was an awesome morning, and we plan to work with Homestretch on other projects in the future.