Helping our Homeless Friends by Bike

Photo credit: Flickr user Gianni Ferraro

Photo credit: Flickr user Gianni Ferraro

We’re at it again!

By Bridgette Wright, BikePGH Administrative Assistant & Public Allies Fellow
I’m calling all cyclists to join Public Allies Pittsburgh-Bags on Bikes in handing out Care Packs to our homeless friends and neighbors. We still have an overwhelming amount of your donations that could be packed up and distributed, so mark your calendars for Saturday March 19th, 2016 from 1-3pm.

Please contact me to volunteer: bridgette@bikepgh.org.

IMG_2659Our first round of handouts turned out great. The Public Allies Pittsburgh 2015-16 cohort separated, counted, and packed over 250 bags on December 18, 2015.

On December 22, 2015, I had about 10 volunteers go out along the South Side river trail and hand out bags. We found a homemade christmas tree and left 15 care packs. One of the men who lived along that trail informed us that over the past few days, people have been moving because someone was coming through the camps at night, and slashing the tents of the people who lived there; he was sick because he couldn’t keep dry. We gave him a new T-Shirt, a few bottles of water and some oranges to try to make him feel better. He was grateful. 

IMG_2718The next distribution on December 23, 2015 was outstanding; I had another 12 volunteers and a lot of people in need. Every 5 minutes someone was calling me to say that they needed more bags. It was such a bittersweet feeling. There were 113 bags handed out that night.

By distributing Care Packs, the homeless people of Downtown Pittsburgh, Lawrenceville, and the Strip District will be reminded that people do care, and are willing to help out.

I have been visiting camps, talking to people, and asking them what they need since the start of this project. Although our homeless friends are more than grateful for the care pack items, almost everyone has mentioned wanting food. So instead of collecting basic need items this time around, I am asking you to donate $5-$10 Subway gift cards. We will be collecting gift cards until Thursday, March 10, 2016.

Then, on Saturday, March 12th we will be meet at Doughboy Square in Lawrenceville (where Penn Ave and Butler St meet), then dispersing into the Strip District, Downtown, and Lawrenceville from there to distribute the Care Packs.

I am looking for 3 people who have bike trailers and are willing to be a “team leader” and many more to help with the distribution. I will be breaking up all of the volunteers into groups, and each person will be assigned to a team leader. If you are a person able to have a trailer and be a team leader, e-mail me as soon as possible at bridgette@bikepgh.org

Public Allies Pittsburgh- Bags on Bikes, did an amazing job during the first two handouts.There’s no doubt that this one will be successful too.

The third distribution was supposed to take place back in December, but it rained badly. If that is the case again, the date will be moved to Sunday, March 13, 2016.

Please contact me to volunteer: bridgette@bikepgh.org.

Any donations (Subway gift cards preferred) can be sent to or dropped off at the BikePGH office located at 188 43rd St, 15201. If you have any other questions or concerns, please call my cell phone at 412-467-6304.


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