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Thanks to your support, Hope Packages: Building Unity Through Solidarity has provided necessary aid to people who are struggling in communities across Indianapolis for a full year. This means that, with over $6,500 worth of donations, we were able to meet the needs of hundreds of people. While delivering necessary aid to our homeless and housing insecure neighbors, we are establishing crucial relationships to keep fighting in the struggle for stable housing. This collaboration between Indy10 Black Lives Matter and the Indianapolis Party for Socialism and Liberation relies solely on volunteer work and community support, and this holiday fundraiser will ensure we’re able to expand our ability to meet this pressing need.
Recently, we distributed six months’ worth of donations, more than 100 packages, in the Riverside neighborhood in just 30 minutes. It’s exciting that we’re able to help meet our community’s needs, and this next year we want to expand that capacity. To do so, we will need more supplies, effort, and space than ever before.
We can’t do this without your donations of time and money to the project! As we grow, financial contributions are increasingly needed to sustain the work we do. If we meet our goal within the next two weeks, we can have our first ever Christmas distribution at Cleo’s Bodega!
Our class, many of whom are unhoused, housing insecure, and chronically homeless, need the essentials of life to survive day by day. It is essential to keep the momentum going by helping the poor as much as possible. This is not charity, however; it’s a project to build solidarity, provide political education, and raise consciousness and struggle by building unity across the diverse sectors of our class.
Hope Packages is where the people of working and oppressed communities come together to assemble care packages to distribute wherever they are needed. Whenever we see a homeless person or someone in need, that’s our chance to give the person the package, ask their name, and talk to them; to build connections; because every person has a story and a struggle.
For example one Hope Packages recipient experiencing financial difficulty after coming out as gay expressed his gratitude for the project by saying “it goes directly to the people who need it!”
We must take the initiative to help our neighbors at every opportunity, especially the most oppressed and vulnerable segments of our class, including (but not limited to) the unemployed, the working poor, Black and Indigenous people and other oppressed nations, the disabled, and LGBTQ people.
Hope Packages typically include:
- water; underwear; socks; gloves; scarves; hats; glove warmers; combs/ brushes; sanitary pads &/or tampons; travel size soap, shampoo/conditioner and toothpaste and toothbrushes; wet wipes and sanitizing wipes; bandages and wound care; tissues, and hand sanitizer; and bus passes. Bus passes are especially essential to help people move around the city and feel a greater sense of agency. Depending on need, some hope packages will include reading glasses.
- non-perishable food items like granola and breakfast bars; canned and bottled beverages, especially water; glucose or electrolyte drinking powder; microwavable soup cups; jerky and cured meats; and more.
This project has the same ethos the Black Panther Party had with their “Free Breakfast Programs” and their numerous (over 200) programs they called “survival pending revolution.” While corporate history presents these programs as merely providing charity, they were always also aimed at building alliances, creating unity, and raising consciousness. As the pandemic enters its third year and landlords cruelly evict millions anyway, it is more important than ever for us to carry this torch in the name of survival to fight another day for a more just system.
It is our duty to fight for our freedom!
It is our duty to win!
We must love each other and support one another!
We have nothing to lose but our chains!
— Assata Shakur