2013 Christmas Outreach
Updated: Mar 11, 2019
This year it was Ron Krier, Mike Volko, Pete Murphy, Tom Conte, and Andrew Rumbold (myself). It was unseasonably warm this year with a high around 60F. As in the past few years we solicited donations and are grateful to those who selflessly gave money or clothing. We were trying to remember how long we have been doing this, it has to be close to 10 years.
This year we got a late start because we were still looking for warm jackets, we had tried Kmart, Walmart, even Kohls the night before and come up empty. It's strange how some years we can find such a great selection and other years nothing. So we stopped at a different Kmart on the way to the city and found a few.
This year was a little different because Ron had sold his van, so we relied on Mike towing a trailer. It was actually a blessing because we had Tom along this year giving haircuts, and we set him up in the trailer with a pair of clippers, a battery and backup generator, stool, and a light. He used to own a salon, and gave about 7-8 haircuts during the day and was definitely a hit among the guys we met.
We started out as usual right at City Hall by the giant paperclip. For some reason we never seem to have trouble parking as long as we leave someone with the vehicle, even sitting up to an hour. So a few of us headed down into the subway with bag lunches from Silvio's Deli (purchased at a discount thank you!) and found some homeless right away. The usual approach- we profile and ask if they can use a meal, then tell them we have some clothing and ask what they can really use before either heading back to the vehicle with them or just retrieving things and coming back. In the meantime Tom started giving haircuts in the trailer.
Next we headed a few blocks over to Love Park, found a few more guys for haircuts and lunches, including James who is a veteran. Due to the late start and giving haircuts, we didn't do as much driving around as we typically would. Last stop was on the Ben Franklin parkway where we found a whole bunch of guys who were outdoors. We gave out the remainder of the 50 lunches and a few more haircuts. Also most of the sleeping bags and tarps here. Tom moved his barbershop outside for more light.
We got a late start home and got caught in some major traffic. Another successful mission this year, again thanks to those who donated!
Maybe we can be a little more prepared next year by buying in advance. Definitely could use more duffle bags and tarps next year. Merry Christmas!