This year, I decided that I wanted to donate more time helping others in need. I was talking to a neighbor and she told me that she and her family volunteer with Happy Helpers for the Homeless and really enjoy it. I looked up their website and was really intrigued. However, the days that they meet up and provide community services were days my family was unavailable to drop me off but as I was looking on their website there is a “Project” Tab which lists various projects you can do on your own. I was immediately intrigued by the Jean Drive mainly because the website noted that “This project meets urgent needs!” The goal was to collect 200 pairs. This task could be really easy if you are working in a group (more people, more jeans) but I didn’t have a group. Even though my parents thought this was an ambitious project to collect this amount of jeans on my own I was determined. (Between my mom, dad, sister, my nonnie and poppy we had close to 50 pairs ourselves to donate.)
My mom reached out to Mrs. Coffman of Happy Helpers via email to learn more details about the Jean Drive, after receiving the nicest response from Mrs. Coffman, my mom changed her tune and was like “WE CAN DO THIS! So, we started in the middle of November and finished in the middle of February. The first 150 pairs seemed easy to get but the last 50 was harder. In the end, I actually got 203 pairs of jeans!
Steps I took to complete my Jean Drive:
- I advertised on Instagram. Many locals, I didn’t even know reached out to me schedule porch pickups! Being a blogger has it perks!
- I went through all my jeans and donated quite a few pairs. My family actually had a ton of jeans to donate.
- I made flyers and gave them to my neighbors, teachers, my mom’s friends, and my dad’s friends/co-workers.
- I SHOPPED for great deals. Target & Old Navy sometimes has great deals on jeans. I also went to Goodwill on the last Saturday of the month. It’s Super Saturday Sale (not sure if this happens at all Goodwill Locations) where everything in the store is 50% – You can find new jeans with tags on them for half off!
- I made it convenient for those who wanted to donate by scheduling pickups and putting a bin outside of my house for those who wanted to drop them off to me.
- I sorted them by gender and adults/kids.
- I delivered them to Happy Helpers on March 10th.
- I sent out Thank You Notes to all that donated!
On March 10th, I went to deliver the jeans and also got to volunteer that day as well. It was such a rewarding experience. I really highly recommend it, if you live in the area. There were so many volunteers and honestly it was so nice to be a part of such greatness. My heart melted when one homeless guy went into the bathroom and changed his pants to a pair of jeans I donated. Now, I just want to be more involve and help out more.
On March 23rd, My family and I were invited to Happy Helpers for the Homeless’ Anniversary Award Ceremony. I was awarded with the Humanitarian Service Award and a (surprise) Leadership award! That was so exciting but what was even more rewarding was hearing all about the other volunteers their accomplishments. There were even elementary school kids who are heavily involved!
Bottom Line, this was a very rewarding experience, I will be doing the Jean Drive again in the Fall but next up I will be working on the sock drive!
Check out Happy Helpers for the Homeless and get involved!