“Give Homelessness a Holiday” Challenge – November 17 – 24

Update: We now have more sponsors than we know what to do with! The generosity of our community and the response to our Challenge have enabled us to stop the Challenge early. If you are already participating, please email your completed form to coalition@cflhomeless.org. If not, please email coalition@cflhomeless.org (subject line: “Help for the Holidays”) to see what else you can do for your neighbors in need during this season. We are so thankful to the community and will keep you informed of the results of the Challenge!


As part of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the Coalition would like to launch yet another Challenge to our supporters. In the past, we’ve asked you to donate blankets during a cold spell, to live on $15 a day, and also to show that you “can” care by donating food items, such as canned fruits and veggies. This time, our Challenge is even more urgent.

We have over 30 single men and women who will not receive the hope or longed-for gifts that come with a holiday sponsorship. You can help!

Each year, the Coalition offers a holiday sponsorship program that presents families, social groups, religious organizations, and companies in our community with the unique opportunity to make the holidays special for a neighbor in need. As a participant in this exciting opportunity, they have the chance to “adopt” a family or single adult in one of the Coalition’s residential programs. These clients are working hard in their case-managed programs to progress into independence. Our sponsorship program helps ensure they enjoy the holidays in their temporary home.

But this year, we don’t have enough sponsors for all of our single adults. Though we are fortunate to have sponsors lined up for our families, we have over 30 single men and women who will not receive the hope or longed-for gifts that come with a holiday sponsorship. You can help!

How, you ask? That’s where the “Give Homelessness a Holiday” Challenge comes in:

1)    Sign up: To participate in the Challenge and sponsor a client, email coalition@cflhomeless.org with “Give Homelessness a Holiday” in the subject line. You will receive a sponsorship form and gift-giving guidelines, as well as answers to any questions you may have.
2)    Receive your match: You will be paired with a single man or woman (we will attempt to match your preferences) as soon as possible. We will provide you the name, age, gender and suggested wish list for each of the individuals you are sponsoring.
3)    Shop: You will shop for and wrap the gifts for your “adopted” individual and deliver them to the Coalition by December 17 (address, directions and times will be emailed to you). These personalized, needed, and wished-for presents will mean the world to clients who would not receive gifts without your generosity!
4)   Share: You will share your experience in any way you can: Twitter, Facebook, blogs, phone calls to family and friends, or even an old-fashioned letter. We would love to spread the news of homeless men and women who are moving towards self-sufficiency; this will remind so many that the stereotypes often associated with homelessness are quite far from reality and will help make National Hunger and Homelessness Week a true success.

Your ultimate reward will be to remind your “adopted” client that you care about them and want them to succeed.  You will make their holiday in this temporary home truly memorable. But just in case that’s not enough, we are willing to throw in a little reward:

To give a shout-out to those generous community members participating in the Challenge, we will be granting a guest-blogging opportunity to three participants who turn in a completed sponsorship form. The winners will be chosen randomly, and each sponsorship offers one opportunity to win (which makes the idea of winning even more exciting). This will be a perfect opportunity to share why your company, social organization, religious group, or family believes in giving back to the community, or what personal insights you have gained from reaching out to others even in the midst of tough times. (The Coalition reserves the right to review blog posts before posting to ensure they are appropriate and accurate.) We at the Coalition are looking forward to hearing what you have to say and seeing any pictures and videos you take of your gift-gathering experience!

This rewarding Challenge will run from Tuesday, November 17 through Tuesday, November 24. We hope you will help us make our client’s holidays jolly!