June 16, 2010

Clothing Giveaway and Census Outreach Extravaganza!

Earlier this month, Bread for the City hosted a Clothing Giveaway and Census Outreach Extravaganza in our Southeast Center. We had a truckload of clothing donations and set up a grand boutique in our parking lot! A group of trusty volunteers organized the clothes, and a crowd of clients and friends from the neighborhood braved the heat to come and peruse our wide selection of summer styles and professional attire.

We generally receive enough clothing donations to keep our modest-sized Clothing Room full, but lately we had received more than we had the capacity to give away during our normal clothing room hours. We decided we had enough to warrant a special event. The Extravaganza also gave us a great chance to engage a group of people who we normally miss: people who work during normal business hours and can't access our services, but still need some help.

We also took advantage of the opportunity to remind passers-by about the 2010 Census and the importance of being counted. Bread for the City has been partnering with the Census effort and encouraging our clients to "stand up and be counted." After all, Wards 7 and 8 have historically suffered from under-counting, and this negatively affects the funding we receive for things like schools and services. We reminded everyone about these benefits, and encouraged them all to comply with the Census workers who come door to door.

Over 100 clients attended over the course of three hours, and left with clothing, Census tote bags, and snacks in hand. By the end of the morning, most of the clothing had been handed out. "This is a great thing that you guys are doing," said one of the attendees. "We really appreciate it!" We also received a number of handwritten thank-you notes after the event: Ms. R wrote, “I had a ball at the Clothing event on last Saturday. The clothes were lovely and I appreciate them a lot. I found a lot of church clothes, shoes, etc which were very nice. Thank you so very much!”

The event wouldn't have been possible without the help of the volunteers that came out early on Saturday morning and helped to set everything up. A crowd of alumni from the University of Utah and a few regular BFC volunteers came to help out. Another half-dozen volunteers randomly appeared in the middle of the morning, having heard about Bread's event while volunteering elsewhere in the neighborhood earlier that morning. It was a lot of work to set up and break down, especially in the heat, so the Bread for the City staff really appreciates all the help that we got!

See more pictures from the event here and here.

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