November 21, 2016
By: Brian Fish, Partner at Dentons & HomeAid San Diego Board President
As many of you know, I have a quirky sense of humor. When asked to write an article for National Stuffing Day, all kinds of possibilities came to my mind. However, as I am addressing the serious topics of the hungry and homeless, I restrained myself for a change.
So, if you have read this far, you are probably asking “what the heck is National Stuffing Day?” and “why is Brian writing about that topic?” Addressing the later first, I am proud to say that I am Board President of the San Diego chapter of HomeAid – a real estate industry supported non-profit that helps build homes for the homeless by connecting social service providers that help homeless women, children, families and veterans with real estate industry professionals. In the last twelve months alone, HomeAid San Diego and our partners helped Noah Homes complete a first of its kind facility in Spring Valley, Interfaith Community Services finish another project for veterans in Escondido and Alpha Project open up its high-rise Alpha Square project in downtown San Diego.
As to National Stuffing Day, it has nothing to do with my favorite Thanksgiving side dish. In this context, stuffing refers to the process of making “care kits” that include essential items that someone without a home might need. Earlier this year, the San Diego Dentons offices had a stuffing party wherein we gathered donated shampoo, razors, toothpaste and other key items and then filled HomeAid branded backpacks for distribution to homeless individuals throughout the County. These care kits help fulfill HomeAid San Diego’s community outreach mission. The “Stuffing Day” also provided my law firm with a simple way of engaging in team building for a great cause. To keep the Thanksgiving theme going, we killed two (stuffed) birds with one stone.
Hunger and homelessness continue to plague San Diego and the nation. According to federal statistics, San Diego has the 4th largest population of homeless in the United States (not California). Statistics provided by Feeding America disclose that more than 42 million Americans (including 13.1 million children) live in food insecure households. These huge issues deserve our attention. If you or your company would like to participate in a “Stuffing Day” event, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.
HomeAid ‘CareKits’ are reflective cinch backpacks for the homeless that are filled with essential items that you and I take for granted every day, such as water, socks, a toothbrush, soap and food. These necessities we take for granted will always be there. But imagine if you were homeless? A kit is much more than the amenities inside – it’s a gesture of human kindness and all about providing hope and a hand up. It’s easy to get involved and there are many ways to do so! You can …
1. Collect new travel size toiletries and other essentials (listed on attached sheet) to fill the ‘CareKits’
2. Make a cash donation to sponsor the ‘CareKits’ – $50 provides 5 ‘CareKits’ for individuals in need
3. Sign up to volunteer to distribute the ‘CareKits’ with HomeAid during this Holiday season
4. Organize an assembly with coworkers and friends – collect the items needed and HomeAid will provide the backpacks to fill
However you choose to get involved, you will be giving much more than just these essentials; you will be giving the gift of dignity, hope and kindness. With a relatively small act, you can be an advocate for those less fortunate and make a real difference in someone’s life this Holiday season.