Yesterday November 17th 2019 the Atheist Community of Lubbock hosted our first ever "No strings attached" Homeless Outreach Event. We provided personal hygiene items, blankets, cloths, sleeping bags, and a meal. In total we served approximately 120 people. That is 40% of the local homeless population! This amazing event was the culmination of months worth of fundraising and meticulous planning and organizing on the part of our wonderful board of directors and dedicated volunteers.
The Atheist Community of Lubbock is dedicated to providing secular support services to lubbockites. We believe in making sure everyone has a place they feel comfortable turning to for assistance. With 42.4% of lubbockites identifying their religious affiliation as "None", the secular population of lubbock is vastly underserved. We aim to fix this issue.
The planning process for this event began earlier this year. No one on the board had ever planned anything like this before, and we were all new. The one thing we did know was that we were going to need money, and a lot of it. So we started fundraising. We held parties, bbq's, garage sales and we worked concessions at TTU. It took us almost an entire year, and countless volunteer hours, but we finally had enough money. We had raised about $1200 and we asked our community for additional donations to help lighten the load for us. With an fantastic response we received hundreds of dollars worth of items! We sorted and organized what we had, purchased what we didn't and got ready for the big event!
Some of our amazing volunteers reached out to local businesses to inquire about donations, and local organizations to ask if they would come hand out information about the resources they provide and we got a great response. Papa Johns and Dominos both agreed to donate pizzas, United and Food King donated water, Tony's party rentals donated chairs and tables, The Sheet metal workers union donated $200, and Stormcrow gaming donated an item to auction off to help us fundraise! We were also able to get Vetstar, the VA, P.A.T.H.S and Starcare to come out as well!
The week before the event, we sent out a press release announcing the event, hoping to spread the word. We advertised on Facebook, we put up a billboard, and we dropped flyers at every place that would let us. We held our breath and hoped we had reached enough people to make a difference.