Have you heard of The People’s Store? It’s an awesome, free, mobile support to Portlanders experiencing homelessness. This spring, representatives from The People’s Store visited with our 3rd to 6th graders to share details and answer questions about this (awesome) approach to mutual aid. The elementary students were so inspired that it didn’t take long for them to hatch a plan to raise funds and gather supplies to donate to this organization. The plan elementary designed and executed was pretty amazing!
First up, a vision to create and sell tie dye shirts for all members of the Puddletown community. Then, put out a call out to Puddletowners for donations of shoes and sleeping bags. Also, sell raffle tickets to win amazing prizes created by the Puddletown community. Finally, use funds raised to make a significant donation to The People’s Store in the form of cash, shoes, sleeping bags and pre-assembled first aid kits.
Elementary’s mission was an amazing success! Their donation was the result of an incredible amount of determination, focus, and love on the part of all those involved. Below is an Instagram post The People’s Store made in response to Elementary’s work. (You may need to grab a tissue.) What an honor it is to be a part of this kind of education with these wonderful children and Puddletown community!
“This spring we spent a few hours with a lovely @puddletown_school class talking about what TPS does, and the concepts of mutual aid and abolition more broadly. The students we met had SO many insightful questions and observations 💭 For us, this was a valuable reminder that barriers to entry in mutual aid or abolition practices are often rooted in misconceptions about what they actually are or aim to do 🧐
Not only did we get to connect with these students IRL, we were lucky enough to be the recipient of a fundraiser AND a sleeping bag & shoe drive they’ve been running in their own community over the last month 🥺 And get this: they raised over $1000 !!! 💖💪😭 We are amazed and so honored. They’ve also been prepping first aid kits for our distro nights!!! It’s been really powerful and special to see their enthusiasm and dedication. What a wonderful reminder that mutual aid has no age limit, and that there’s room here for everyone’s talents, capacities, and strategies. Thank you, Puddletown!!! We love you!!!”
This was a very interesting course to take.