This is an exciting time of year: flowers are blooming, days are longer, and Project Cool for Back-to-School is in full swing!!!
I have been waiting for Project Cool since I joined the Coalition back in September and am so excited it is finally here. The work to make sure that students start off the school year with a new backpack and school supplies, just like their peers, is very important and further enhanced by the Understanding Homeless Students’ Educational Rights guide that each student receives.
I know that Project Cool would not be possible without the support, work, and some sweat while stuffing backpacks of our awesome Coalition supporters and volunteers and I’m looking forward to working with you this year. Ready to get involved? see how below!
Ready… Set… Go! Here are 5 ways you can get involved:
- Supply Drives. Now is a great time to start your own supply drive, and encourage others to do the same. You can use this Project Cool Supply Drive Flyer (with Wish List). Contact me if you’d like a tailored flyer. We hope you have fun with them, too — there are so many ways to be creative and think outside the box. For example, Northwest Honkers Baseball is set up to ask their game day patrons to donate school supplies in lieu of a gate fee during summer games. RSVP to let me know if you can host a supply drive in the Spring or Fall.
- Dental Donations. We need your help to reach out to Dentists for floss, toothbrush, and toothpaste donations. Do you have an upcoming dentist appointment, or is there a nearby dentist office in your community? Use our Dentist Letter to ask your personal or local dentist to donate supplies to Project Cool.
- Encourage your work, community group, bank, or faith organization to become a Project Cool Sponsor. Reach out to me to get more information.
- ‘Like’ Project Cool on Facebook, invite your friends to do the same, and share posts to boost our reach online. Every action makes a big impact.
- Sign up for Volunteer Days: Monday, July 13 – Sunday, July 19. Volunteers have fun counting, sorting, and organizing supplies to fill backpacks for distribution. We’d love your help, and we welcome groups! Sign up for a volunteer shift on our website and email me if you would like to arrange a group.
Thank You Students from Concordia University’s Alternative Break Leadership Experiences for an awesome day of service!
After a week of service work at Union Gospel Mission, Urban Rest Stop, and Operation Nightwatch, a group of six students and two leaders focusing on serving and and learning about homelessness, hunger, and youth poverty came to the Church of Hope to help sort donated supplies for Project Cool. They worked with determination and we shared in conversation about their time in Seattle and what they had been learning.
Our new friends not only sorted and counted supplies, but also assembled new shelves! If any of you have volunteered with Project Cool in the Church of Hope and seen our supply closet, you may know that it was definitely in need of shelves to help store donations. Look how organized the space is now! It brought smiles to Staff’s faces to see items neatly sorted.
This group of students is really special, they are going to make a difference in the world and I am fortunate we had the opportunity to work together and learn from one another. When 1pm rolled around, our end time, the group was full into bundling and counting pencils and I said they could be done; they responded, “no”! With determination they sorted every last pencil, a great example of knowing that their time can make a positive difference. Thank you. I will leave you with a few inspiring quotes that group members wrote on advocacy postcards after their hard (and extended) day’s work.
I hope to see you at volunteer days this July!
“My team and I from Concordia University have had the opportunity to spend the past week working with low income students and see that they have a huge need in so many areas that any assistance would be a huge gain.”
“I had the wonderful opportunity to help sort items with project cool. The homeless do matter!!”
“Every child deserves education and the resources they need to succeed
All people matter. We have to help each individual to transform our society into a better community”