Tag Archives: Sisters of the Road

Auction Acquisitons

auction items

I love an auction, be it silent, F2F onsite or online.  And the recent fund raiser for Sisters of the Road was no exception.

I like auctions for a purpose more than just those for buying stuff because then I can feel good about spending money.

I start out with an idea of how much I want to give and place my opening bids. Then I wait to see where I am outbid and where not.  When I am outbid I have to think about how much I want the item. Sometimes I really really do, so I bid back.  Sometimes I was rather lukewarm, so I let it go and either save to bid up on some other item or add a couple opening bids.

This time I had to let a couple ticket offers that I really liked go by. They just got too high.  But then that is another way to feel good even about losing.  The organization gets so much more because I tried a couple times to get an item, this time tickets.

But what you see here are the four things I managed to stay first on. Maybe next year I’ll get one of those tickets.

It is an annual event–maybe you can try next year.  There are plenty of items that can be shipped as well as events and services that are donated by Portland businesses.

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Filed under shopping, social issues

Homelessness challenge

Living in a small town I was not overly aware of people who are currently experiencing homelessness.  In Lafayette we had a couple shelters and a transitional housing place that I was aware of, but never saw people on the street. So I knew it in the abstract.

When visiting Chicago I did the tunnel vision walk and ignored the people who needed money.  When in New York I was with a friend who kept a pocket full of quarters whenever she went to the city to give one to each who asked.  The comparison created internal dissonance. My attitude came from two things: an early experience and a stereotype.  The stereotype first.  People won’t use money for food, but for cigarettes, drink, or drugs.  The experience. I once knew some high school rich kids who dressed down and went downtown and panhandled and came home to gloat over their profits. They had no real need.  My NY friend answered that by saying it was not her conscience, but theirs.

Now that I live in a Portland I do see a few real live people who are experiencing homeless, and some ask me for money. I started out with the tunnel vision approach, but didn’t like myself that way.  The old high school kid prank held me back though.  In a conversation I learned two things.  Look at their shoes.  And there is a place called Sisters of the Road Cafe that serves meals, and one can buy coupons and hand them out instead of cash.  Seemed a good move to resolve my dilemma.

So I got some and they came with instructions. The most relevant direction was “Make eye contact.” Quite a contrast to my tunnel vision approach.) The rest was to be sure they could get to the cafe and would use the coupon. Having something to offer helped me get out of tunnel vision.

Browsing the website led me to a book, Voices from the Streets,  that resulted from a study, interviews with people experiencing homelessness. And the most relevant chapter so far is the one on feeling invisible and how that lowers self image. Adding that to the eye-contact principle has at least gotten me out of tunnel vision.

Time will tell how involved I actually get.

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Filed under social issues