Local Loveland organizers hope to close the year with a powerful message from the community, asking them to donate items or their time to help the city’s homeless people.
The “For Love” campaign started on Monday and will run until early December; Over the next few weeks, he will be collecting donated items to give to the city’s homeless people as the weather begins to cool.
The campaign started as an idea from Lovelanders Facebook page creator Darrin Williams. He said since the page started last year, she had amassed over 9,000 Loveland resident followers.
“In leading this group, I’m trying to find innovative ways for the group, in this case, to do something for the holidays,” he said. “The idea was to get this group behind something like that. With so many people, even a small fraction can do a lot.
Williams said that after posting on the Lovelanders page, he started to see a lot of positive feedback from the community. It eventually caught the attention of Jen Castaneda, co-founder of the Loveland Justice League.
She said after seeing the post she thought the idea was something she and the Justice League would like to do and she joined Williams in creating the campaign.
Castaneda and Williams were able to link up with 137 Homeless Connection in downtown Loveland as well as with several downtown businesses to set up donation boxes to collect items that will eventually be distributed to those in need. via 137 Homeless Connection or by walking to donate around town. .
Castaneda said the campaign is looking to receive items to help dress and warm the homeless as the winter months approach. According to the campaign’s website, this includes jackets, gloves, hats and more, as well as items like blankets or tarps.
The campaign is also looking for people to donate their time and volunteer to help collect or distribute the items that are donated.
“We need people who are ready to go out and interact,” Castaneda said. “Even just the human touch and the willingness to have a conversation, sometimes people just need to feel loved and I think part of that is sharing the love.”
“It will be a huge blessing,” said Francine Maestas, deputy director of 137 Homeless Connection. “We are seeing (homeless populations) increasing, we have seen a record 137 people in the last few weeks. We don’t have enough items to hand out, so we need the support of our community to be able to get them what they need. to survive in cold weather. I think it’s going to be huge. “
Garbage cans were set up in the city on Monday morning as the countryside braces for donations. Castaneda took the first trash can and the first posters to B Sweet Cupcakes, one of three drop-off sites, on Monday, where she spoke with owner Dana Brungardt about what they were looking to do.
Brungardt said she saw an article about the campaign and offered a space in her store for donations. She said a big part of being a small business owner in Loveland is part of the community, and this campaign does just that. She said she is excited to get involved in helping those in her community who are really struggling.
“(I) just want to do a little game to help people who need a helping hand,” she said Monday morning.
Castaneda and Williams said that as the campaign gets underway, they are excited to help those in need in the city.
Castaneda said that often the homeless community suffers in silence while others are afraid to come into contact with them; she said a big part of the problem is a lack of compassion and love for the homeless.
“To be part of a Justice League is to fight for the justice of humanity,” she said. “This is what we are fighting for. If we don’t start coming together in love everyone is going to suffer the consequences, and I really feel like this is a powerful message to rally with each other.
Williams said he was eager to see where the campaign went, hoping it could happen several times and not once, adding that “the sky is the limit” on what “For Love” could become.
But for now, he said, the campaign will help raise awareness of a problem and really help those in need.
“The awareness is huge,” he said. “People take a second to think, ‘this is a pretty big need and a big enough crisis in our country and our city.” It shows the possibility of what we can be as a community.
Residents can drop off items at one of three locations: Crossroads Church, 5420 N. Taft Ave., Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 3 pm; B Sweet Cupcakes, 425 E. Fourth St., Monday to Wednesday 11 am to 5 pm, Thursday to Friday 11 am to 6 pm or Saturday 11 am to 4 pm; or Grandma’s Attic, 650 E. 29th St., Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The campaign will collect donations until December 3.
More information about the campaign, including a form to sign up for volunteer time and a list of desired items, can be found at darrinwilliamsmedia.com/forthelove.