The Backpack Project is proud to share that Homeless Heroes Day 2018 achieved our ambitious goal of hand-delivering backpacks to two thousand people who were experiencing homelessness in Atlanta. While exciting & fast-paced, Homeless Heroes Day was also a service-learning experience that facilitated education about homelessness as a social issue and empowered teams from participating companies to experience what it’s like to create the impact, not just fund it. Through the support of this year's participating companies - U.S. Health Advisors, Quality Technology Services (QTS), JOYN, Mercedes-Benz, Winmo, and State Farm - we were able to pack 2,000backpacks for those in the Atlanta homeless community who were seeking support.
Thank you to our distribution partners - The Salvation Army of Atlanta, Women's Community Kitchen, the Gateway Center, The Evolution Center, the Covenant House, and the Veterans Empowerment Organization - for hosting us. A group of our volunteers had the unique experience of working with The Salvation Army's Veterans on the Move program to assemble 250+ care packages that will be sent to active duty soldiers, and we couldn't be happier to honor Veterans Day in such an exciting way.
Hosted by our Signature Sponsor, Quality Technology Services (QTS)
Women's Community Kitchen & Evolution Center Distributions
The Salvation Army of Atlanta Distribution
QTS & U.S. Health Advisors
Veterans Empowerment Organization Distribution
We would like to give a special thanks to the event sponsors: Bombas (x2 pairs of socks per backpack), RefrigiWear (premium thermal clothing), KIND (breakfast bars), Gordini (premium gloves), Cheeky Maiden Soap Co. (custom deodorant), Rinse Bath & Body Co. (soap), Love Rolls (toilet paper), and QTS (event space, catering & resources).
Homeless Heroes Day wouldn’t have been nearly as educational without our wonderful panel, the Gateway Center's Faces of Homelessness Speakers' Bureau. Bec Cranford, Camille Cochran, and Benjamin Graham delivered inspirational & informative talks about stereotypes surrounding homelessness, their experiences at the Gateway Center, and took turns answering questions about some of the issues surrounding homelessness.
Every event needs a cohesive bond, and we were lucky enough to have Gil Eplan-Frankel and Melanie Sheahan as ours. Thank you Gil & Melaniefor hosting Homeless Heroes Day and incorporating your experience, proactive thinking, and dedicated planning to ensure that the event ran smoothly and lived up to its potential.
Thank you to our incredible photographers & videographer: Stokes Dunavan, Phillipe Jennings, and John Roche. Your efforts in documenting the spirit, energy, and impact of Homeless Heroes Day 2018 will empower us to continue to grow both this event and The Backpack Project in the years to come.
Finally, this event could not have happened without the support of Butch Goldi (QTS), Abby Johnson (QTS), Karen Williams (QTS), Jarrett Oakley (JOYN), Darrell Giannotti (USHA), Shannon Dempsey (USHA), Regina Feagin (State Farm), Kat Reynolds (Mercedes-Benz), and the entirety of TBP’s staff. We extend a wholehearted thanks to each of you for the integral role you played in serving 2,000 people experiencing homelessness in Atlanta and serving our nation’s heroes on Veterans Day.