How it Works
At the current time GBLL's only formal action is the Holiday Drive. This Drive generally starts in September when we receive commitments from various groups to provide backpacks and start ordering the materials. We also start reaching out to the various shelters to find out what materials would be most needed at their facility. In the following weeks volunteers known as shelter coordinators visit each of the shelters to coordinate the deliveries of the appropriate items.
OCTOBER & NOVEMBER
In October and November, Jeanette and other volunteers meet with dozens of local civic groups, schools, clubs, scout troops and church communities asking them to help with the Drive by participating in our Sponsor a Backpack program. A donation of $25 will enable us to provide a backpack full of new, warm clothing to a homeless person in our area. Each backpack contains new thermal top and bottom underwear, new sweat shirt, new warm socks, new hat and gloves and a homemade holiday card. We then can supply all the materials to the organizations for them to stuff the backpacks that become part of our Christmas Eve deliveries. Backpack parties are becoming a popular event, not only at the schools which often purchase large quantities, but as part of small neighborhood Holiday parties. GBLL also gets a number of financial contributions from individuals and corporations. These funds are used to both purchase additional clothing items to be distributed and to pay for the rental of the trucks and other expenses associated with the Drive.
four days before Christmas
For the four days before Christmas, the Farmer's Market in Annapolis becomes the Drive collections site. People from all over different communities come by to donate items which are then sorted by type and gender, and targeted to the specific shelter where they will be needed the most. A great deal of the work of sorting and separating the donated items is done by local high school students who are on Holiday break.
On Christmas Eve the trucks leave the Farmer's Market and make their way through Anne Arundel County, Washington, DC, and Baltimore. They stop at more than two dozen shelters during the day where volunteers following the trucks unload the materials and often meet with the residents of the shelters. There are always memorable experiences on these deliveries. At night several trucks head to the streets of Baltimore where hundreds of people who cannot get into a shelter meet us outside to receive their backpacks and other gifts, often including some food. The last stop is the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center which houses 400 men and women from the streets each night. At each of these night stops there is one-on-one interaction between the homeless person and the volunteer as the volunteer assists each in receiving their items. Again, this is always a memorable experience.
A single act of kindness can make such an impact.
NGO News Publication | April 2016
Linda's Legacy Impact
Every year we have increased our reach to the homeless. Here are the numbers of backpacks delivered since Linda's Legacy first Homeless Drive: