Posts Tagged 'backpacks'

Lifted Out of Skid Row by a TGS Kit

Terri Detroit Hughes

We’d just like to take a minute to say thank you to Terri Detroit Hughes for coming to speak at our Saturday morning assembly event. Terri was formerly living on Skid Row and was inspired to make changes in her life after receiving a TGS kit. She told us about how, at first, she was reluctant to line up to take a kit but because she could see and hear what was in the kits through others she eventually decided to take one. She said the TGS kit offered her hope. Somebody cared.

Detroit, as she likes to be called, felt this was a spiritual gift to her, a gift that inspired her to make positive changes in her life and to do what she could to make it off of Skid Row. Congratulations, Detroit, thank you for sharing your story with us and we wish you all the best.

-The Giving Spirit Team


Christmas in November?

Christmas in November? That’s what we’re hoping for. Well, that and the end of homelessness.

We are full steam ahead in preparation and planning for Giving Spirit Week 2010, and that means we need to build 2,500 survival kits. Do you know how much that costs? Well, it’s a lot. Actually, it’s around $200,000. And that’s why our Christmas wish this year is for Christmas to come a month early!

If you can help us make our wish come true and kindly send us a donation before Giving Spirit Week 2010 begins in December then we will be able to have funds in order to buy all that stuff that goes in the kits, and then we promise to pay it forward and make it easier for 2,500 (or more?) homeless individuals to live on the streets this coming winter. So, by helping us achieve our goals we will be able to help others achieve theirs. Now that’s the giving spirit!

Give to The Giving Spirit in November and make everyone happy this holiday season. Thanks for your support!

Look at all those survival kits!

TGS volunteer helping to assemble kits.

Pictures of Reach Out Saturday 2010

Here’s a few pictures I took at our June event. There’s one of the morning assembly line at Brentwood Presbyterian, one of volunteer Alec wrapping things up as we were about to hear Tom’s speech, one of the room full of backpacks set to go out that day, and one of the Covenant House where I went to deliver bags. Sorry so few. Enjoy.


Morning assembly line

Backpacks ready to go

Alec helping us wrap things up

The Covenant House in Hollywood

The Giving Spirit in the L.A. Times

L.A.’s homeless get backpack ‘survival kits’

The Giving Spirit, a nonprofit, distributes 1,000 knapsacks of food and essentials Saturday, with a special effort to reach homeless women and children.

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
June 6, 2010

Cynthia Berry, 19, is pregnant and homeless.

Due in roughly four months, Berry survives by selling incense on the Venice boardwalk.

When she heard someone was giving away backpacks full of food and other supplies at the Westminster dog park on Saturday, she was among the first to show up.

The sturdy black backpacks, which volunteers from the Giving Spirit like to call “survival kits,” contain about three dozen items essential to surviving the streets in Los Angeles County, including a baseball cap, socks, soap, sunglasses, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a hairbrush, sunscreen, lotion, a first aid kit, deodorant and bottled water.

About 225 volunteers packed and distributed 350 backpacks on foot in Venice, downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, North Hollywood and Culver City on Saturday. They delivered about 650 additional backpacks to seven local homeless outreach groups.

Volunteers made a special effort to reach women and children, distributing about 15 diaper bags full of feminine napkins, sippy cups, diapers, diaper-rash cream, baby wipes, baby sun block, children’s vitamins, formula and bottles. In Venice, they partnered with Stand Up For Kids, a Los Angeles nonprofit that serves homeless youth.

At the dog park, Berry claimed a backpack and a free bag lunch and sat down to eat in the shade. She said life on the streets can be hard for a woman, especially one struggling with morning sickness. But she is happy about becoming a mother. She knows she is having a girl and has already picked out a name: Jessi Lynn. Things have been better since she and her husband recently got an old RV to sleep in, she said, although police often rouse them from local parking lots.

Her young friends, who also claimed backpacks, said they have tried to find work, but even minimum-wage employers are looking for workers with more experience. Miguel Pineda, 22, was laid off from his job managing a Starbucks about nine months ago and has been homeless — or “traveling,” as he says — ever since.

“There’s no work out there for a younger person,” said Donovan Hage, 19.

The Giving Spirit is a nondenominational, all-volunteer, Los Angeles-based nonprofit. Since Brentwood entrepreneur Tom Bagamane founded the group in 1999, he said, 5,000 volunteers have distributed about 11,000 bags to Los Angeles County’s homeless. // Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

Attention Volunteers

Any TGS volunteer that would like to share their experiences working with us can do so under the above tab, "Volunteer Stories." Thank you.

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