By JuWan Graham
CBS 62/CW50 Intern
The phrase “pay it forward” is a term that has a multitude of different organizations, but the general concept is still the same: if someone does a good deed for you, do one for another person in need. This is exactly what #HashtagLunchbag-Detroit is doing for the holiday season…and all year long.
On Saturday, December 17 from 10am-2pm, #HashtagLunchbag will host its annual holiday packing and distribution event at the One Woodward Detroit Building. Volunteers will disperse brown lunch bags filled with cold sandwiches, water, and fruit to the homeless population throughout the city. These sandwiches contain a deli meat (depends on what’s donated) lettuce, tomato and mustard. Included are positive messages containing something like: a scripture, “have a good day,” even drawings from kids. With these lunches, they are aiming to feed 1,000 people in the Detroit and Highland Park area.
Detroit joined the Hashtag movement in the summer of 2013, feeding over 5,000+ people in need throughout the city. Since its inception on Christmas 2012 in a Los Angeles apartment, #HashtagLunchbag has spawned to multiple cities in the world in a limited amount of time. To date, volunteers have served nearly 20,000 meals in over 22 cities across the U.S. and Canada.
When asked why she wanted to assist with #HashtagLunchbag’s mission, local volunteer Kristy Stanford says that “I wanted to volunteer because there are thousands of people who are struggling with finding meals and being able to provide for themselves. It’s the holidays, but you have to make sure that your helping year round and not just around Christmas.”
In promoting its “pay it forward” approach, this Detroit organization has garnered large support from community sponsors and partners like Tim Hortons, Quicken Loans, Chef Curtis, and the Detroit City Council.
Volunteers are still welcomed to the event, and no RSVP is needed. For more information about the event, you can contact Community Coordinator Joshua Kennedy via email or follow their Instagram or Facebook pages.
JuWan Graham is an aspiring public relations practitioner with a passion for writing and sports, and currently interning at CBS62 and CW50. He is a senior attending Eastern Michigan University, majoring in Public Relations while minoring in Marketing.