Project 680 belongs to all of us. It’s a community effort, and our hope is to get word out to the community about the P680 Shoe Drive. We invite you to partner with us in this cause by linking to the P680 website from your website, blog, Facebook, or any other social networking sites or forums. You are also invited to use any of the images below to link to our website at www.project680.org. If you are not connected yet with us on Facebook, our page is HERE and our group is HERE.
The direct link to the community bike ride is www.project680.org/bike. Please feel free to use the images below for any of your online or flyer needs.
You can also embed the following video on your website, blog, or social networking site. The direct link to the video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9zJIArBF6A. If you can’t figure out how to embed the video on your site, just let us know and we’ll be happy to help.
We do have some of the images above in larger sizes also, in case you needed something for a flyer, the office, or any other forum. Call 916-595-3735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or further needs.
Thank you so much for helping let others know about the shoe drive. Together we can make a difference.
We wanted to give a quick commercial about the Volunteer Center of Sacramento. In case you have not heard of this organization, they are a great resource for finding opportunities to give a little time to. Their mission is to “strengthen Sacramento communities, organizations and individuals through facilitating volunteer services.” They have an enormous list of both organizations as well as potential volunteers. Their website states:
The main function of the Volunteer Center of Sacramento is to match community volunteers with high-quality volunteer opportunities. We achieve this goal in two ways. We manage a cutting edge volunteer matching website (www.volunteersac.org) that automatically pairs volunteers with volunteer opportunities using location and interest as the matching criteria. We also manually match volunteers with opportunities. If none of the opportunities on the website meet your needs, our dedicated staff is available to help you find the perfect match. Please call (916) 567-3100 x112 to speak to a member of our team.
Project 680 was recently listed on the Volunteer Center website as an organization to volunteer with, and since we appreciate that very much, we wanted to at least spread the news about the work the Volunteer Center of Sacramento is doing.
We received an email today from a man who wants to help support the Project 680 Shoe Drive. Instead of donating cash, a check, or a Payless Shoe Source gift card, he is getting creative about how to pull together some funds to support local homeless students (and we like that). He attached a photo of a pair of brand new shoes he is selling on e-Bay. All proceeds from the sale will be directed toward the P680 Shoe Drive.
This is a really great idea, and it could work well with any marketable product, and even on other websites like Craigslist. It’s nice too because sometimes we have things laying around the house that are valuable to someone else, but all they do is collect dust at home. Like the saying goes, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”
NOTE: Some of you may be asking, “why doesn’t this guy just give the shoes to Project 680 so that we can turn and give them to a needy homeless student?” Good question. Basically, there are two reasons why this won’t work: 1) Both he and I firmly agreed that the color of the shoes may be too closely affiliated with gang-related colors, and that is not something we want to promote for students. Anyone else think that too?; 2) In the past, the District Liaison for Homeless Services has received donations of new shoes, which is a generous gesture, but basically these donated shoes typically sit off to the side because they are not relevant in style or size. Homeless students enjoy picking out brand new shoes anyway because they have their own sense of style. Usually donated shoes do not fit right or they are just not up to today’s fashion standards. Additionally, it is worth noting that Payless Shoe Source, the local vendor for the shoe drive, offers a “buy one pair, get the second pair 1/2 off,” which is a tremendous savings. Moreover, Payless also offers the shoes to the District Liaison for Homeless Services with NO SALES TAX. In essence, this ends up being a tremendous savings for buying a high quantity of shoes, but also a real blessing for the students because they have a very large supply of shoes to choose from. Does that make sense?
By the way, the man who is selling these shoes on e-Bay was a really good sport about this story being posted here (we just wanted you to know because we won’t be posting stories about interactions we have with everyone, especially without permission).
Kudos to a creative man for his idea to support the shoe drive. Way to go!!!
We are very excited about the Project 680 Community Bike Ride, and we want to invite you and your friends to join us. Even if you haven’t been on a bike for 25+ years, you can do this family-friendly ride, and raise some money for shoes for homeless students in the process.
The Ride: On Saturday, 11/07/09 at 11am, we will ride from Hagan Park in Rancho Cordova to River Bend Park (next to bridge). The entire ride along the paved American River trail will take 15-20 at the most. Riders can go at their own pace and enjoy the company of friends, family, co-workers and even a “Riding for Shoes” Team if you put one together (people at the office, a group of friends, your entire family, church or business maybe).
This is a short bike ride and we welcome all ages and backgrounds. We also welcome folks to meet us at River Bend Park if they wish to not bike at all.
Money Stuff: We suggest a $5.00 donation per rider or a $10 donation for households. You can offer more if you’d like. Riders are encouraged also to get sponsored to ride by family, friends, or co-workers. Involving the people you know and inviting them to participate is a great way to raise support for more shoes. You are also invited to put together a “Riding for Shoes” team for your business, organization or with a group of friends. Riders are welcome to find other creative ways to raise money too and then bring anything you’ve raised on the day of the community ride (whether that’s getting sponsored, selling something on Craigslist, doing a lemonade stand, garage sale, etc…). Our goal is to raise $1,500 during the Project 680 Shoe Drive in order to make 100 pairs of brand new shoes available to local homeless students.
Details: We’ll meet in the parking lot of Hagan Park in Rancho Cordova at 2197 Chase Drive (in the FREE parking lot next to Cordova High School). Come at 10:15am if you’d like some free coffee, orange juice and snacks. Bring a sack lunch if you’d like because we’ll hang out at the park for a while when we get there. When we’re done, we’ll head back to the parking lot at Hagan Park.
This is going to be great fun and a fantastic and creative way to get shoes on the feet of local homeless students. 100% of proceeds will go directly to shoes for homeless students. We accept cash, checks, and even Payless Shoe Source gift cards. Call 916-595-3735 or email email@example.com for details.
Zachary Andrews played basketball and football at Cordova High School through 2003. He went on to play basketball for Yuba College, Bradley University, and now professionally in Europe. Zach’s accomplishments on the court are impressive indeed, and even more illustrious when considering what he had to overcome. Mr. Andrews had a difficult childhood and knew firsthand the turmoil of the foster care system and also what it was like to be a homeless “couch surfer” during his teen years. Zach had a very challenging upbringing, but he is not a statistic ending in despair and hopelessness. He made it.
The following interview took place in September 2009 over email between Ryan Lundquist of Project 680 and Mr. Zachary Andrews.
RL:Where did you grow up, and when did you come to Rancho Cordova? Zach: I was born in Oakland and the way I ended up in Rancho Cordova was I was sent to a foster home.
RL:What year did you graduate Cordova High School? Zach: I graduated Cordova High in 2003.
RL:When did you start playing basketball, and did you ever imagine you’d be playing professionally? Zach: Believe it or not, I actually started playing basketball late, which was 7th grade. I was a troubled child growing up with no one who cared about me, so I didn’t care too much about myself. I didn’t feel wanted in any way. I didn’t feel nor did I know what love was. So finally something caught my eye which led me to my path to do well. I never imagined I’d be playing professionally. It is a real blessing to travel the world and earn a living.
RL:What was your living situation like during High School? Zach: My living situation during High School was tough. I was going back and forth from my home to friends’ houses, and eventually it was just going to friends’ houses. I shared clothes with my friends – everything except shoes, but shared underwear, shorts, jeans, just so I could fit in at school. It was very tough for me because I had siblings I wanted to take care of, but could not because I could not take care of myself. The friends I lived with I consider my family very highly because they believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.
RL:What was it like to be “couch surfing” as a teenager? How did that impact you? Zach: It was hard for me to come out and tell people I was going home. The only people that really knew were my friends and the football coaches. The coaches [knew] because I could not afford to pay for cleats or jerseys. So that was very hard because I did not want to share that with them. I was scared I would have to move.
RL:What encouraged you to an athletic career? Was there a particular person or experience? Zach: I never was encouraged to pursue an athletic career because I felt I wasn’t good enough. I honestly didn’t plan to go to college until a junior college coach, the only coach that saw my potential, asked me to come play for him. This was shocking to me because I was not advertised at all like that, so there was something that would not let me give up when I wanted to, which got me a scholarship to Bradley University.
RL:What was it like to help lead your college team at Bradley University to the Sweet 16? Zach: It was like an unbelievable dream that you could not wake up from. And to be a part of that Sweet 16 experience – I don’t think any other words can describe what it felt like to lead a team to the Sweet 16 that had not been in years. And the guys that I shared it with made it worth the training and dedication.
RL:How would you like to apply your B.A. degree in Theatre Arts? Zach: I would love to apply my B.A. degree in Theatre Arts by doing movies on the big screen with huge actors one day. But until then I’m going to see how far I can go with playing basketball. But movies is my next goal I plan to accomplish.
RL:So many kids in similar situations don’t make it. What made you different? How were you able to overcome some of the challenges you faced? Zach: I believe it is the people you choose to surround yourself with that allow you to choose your path and overcome challenges, when it comes to being a statistic in the environment we are given in similar situations as mine.
RL:Is it true that you can do back flips? Zach: LOL. Yes, it is true I can do back flips.
RL NOTE:Zach is 6’8″ by the way.
RL:What types of things did the office of the District Liaison for Homeless Services do for you during High School? Zach: They cater to all of us in any way they can. I was in need of a new book bag (which I still have I believe), and could not afford a yearbook every year, among other school materials. And if I just wanted to talk, her and her staff would make the day even better by spending time with us even it if was for a minute or two.
RL:How has your background shaped you? Zach: My background shaped me to appreciate myself and others more. And understand that the world is not always after you – it only prepares you. So in my words it is not about what you were, it is about what you’re going to become if you believe and don’t give up. There is always going to be someone that loves and cares about you no matter what your situation is or how you were raised.
RL:What advice would you offer to homeless kids? Zach: My advice I would offer homeless children would be to stay strong through the roughest and toughest times. There will be times when you want to give up, and that time is the worst because everything negative seems to come out of nowhere and sit on your shoulders, which will leave you feeling like you have no one. And that’s when it counts the most to be the strongest and believe in yourself if nobody will.
RL:Why do you think some homeless kids lose hope? Zach: It’s simple, we “homeless children” lose hope because the love and motivation we want is not given, but all the stress of thinking everything will be okay when it is not is [given]. Also, the motivation and love we have for ourselves is not enough and we search for it at close friends’ homes, school, and anywhere we can to feel wanted – to escape our living situation.
RL:In our efforts to reach out to local students who might be in a similar situation you were in, what advice do you have for us? Zach: Advice I have for you when it comes to your efforts to reach out to us is stay consistent, understanding, and concerned because it shows us that you truly care about us and our needs as a person. And doing so allows it to be easier to open up to you and how we feel – especially if they’re females.
RL:Where do you think you’d be right now if you didn’t have a supportive coach, teachers, loving siblings and friends (and their families) to help you out during High School? Zach: If I did not have them believing in me, there is a possibility I would have had children at an early age, dropped out of High School. Selling drugs to get money to raise money for my child. Maybe in and out of jail.
RL:Where do you see yourself doing in the next ten years? Zach: In the next ten years I see myself married with a gorgeous wife and child, financially stable, in the NBA, and pursuing my movie role in a summer blockbuster film.
We know Mr. Andrews is very busy playing basketball in Europe, and we appreciate the time he gave for an interview with Project 680, as well as his openness. What did you think? Does anything he said stand out to you? Comments are welcome.
There are many ways to partner with us as we endeavor to raise funds to purchase 100 pairs of brand new shoes for homeless students in the FCUSD. And now there is yet one more opportunity to support the Project 680 Shoe Drive. We are very excited to partner with www.BottlecapMagnets.com to offer some original Project 680 bottle cap magnets to the community. These are perfect for the fridge, office or even a gift, and they’ll be available in a matter of weeks for as long as supplies last. We will soon unveil more details about these magnets, what they’ll look like, how to get one, as well as many other creative ways to be involved in the Shoe Drive. For now we wanted you to be in “the know” about this latest development. Woo-hoo!!!
The Grapevine Independent is running the following article in tomorrow’s newspaper. We appreciate very much a mention of the upcoming shoe drive. Thank you Grapevine!!! Also, welcome to any Grapevine readers who may have found your way to our website after reading the article. If you have any questions or ideas, just let us know.
Sometimes it’s easy to feel disconnected from the reality of homelessness. When we hear the word “homeless”, it’s easy to think of tents, tattered clothing, and the Salvation Army in Downtown Sacramento. But there’s a different face for homelessness in Rancho Corova & Folsom that doesn’t fit the typical “downtown” profile.
“Homeless” is defined as “living in an unstable environment”. There are 783 students in the FCUSD that are documented by the school district as “homeless”. These kids live in places like motels, without a parent or legal guardian, in vehicles, in houses without utilities, and sometimes actually on the streets or in other unstable situations.
These young people are not in some random far-away city or location, but right in our own neighborhoods. We see them walking to school, riding bikes down Folsom Blvd, playing with the kids next door, sitting in traffic next to us, and shopping for groceries at the store.
We know it’s a bit shocking to consider the number “783″. It can even feel overwhelming to the point where we don’t know where to start, or even how to feel about the whole thing. What if we could begin to be a part of the solution though? What if we could spend a few minutes here and there as a community to do something about this very local issue?
Project 680 is all about learning to respond in practical ways that make sense for homeless students and our busy lives. Our goal is to team up with local residents and do simple things that make a difference. Let’s not attempt to build enormous and time-consuming projects or solve every problem at once, but rather begin to listen to the issues, begin to see homelessness around us, and respond in love.
Our community meeting tonight was fantastic. Thank you everyone who participated in discussion and helped to refine our focus and mission for the next couple of months. Thank you also to our gracious host, Gold River Carpets & Floors, for opening up their business as a meeting place.
A Focus on Shoes: We have decided to focus on supporting a shoe drivefor local homeless students. The District Liaison for Homeless Services has let us know that new shoes are a very relevant need for students, and so it makes sense for us to be a part of something like this. The shoe drive will take place in December 2009 and we will be communicating very soon about the details of how everything will work as well as some exciting and creative opportunities for community involvement. Our goal will be to raise $1,500, which in effect will provide 100 pairs of shoes for local homeless students. Does this sound good to you?
The Boutique Idea: We had previously kicked around the idea of doing a shopping boutique for students on the same day of the shoe drive, but after conversation with the District Liaison for Homeless Services and several core Project 680 members, we thought it best to focus exclusively on shoes. A shoe drive is something we are excited about, and to be honest, it’s a bit of a relief to not be taking on a boutique also since that would have been a huge undertaking to effectively pull off. Let’s not burn out or overcommit, okay!!!
Biking for Shoes: One more exciting announcement is that we will be putting together a community bike ride at some point in the next two months (before Thanksgiving). We will ask each rider (or household) to donate $5.00 or get sponsored to ride. This will be a very fun and creative way to raise funds for shoes for homeless kids. This event will be a minimal ride in terms of mileage and will take place somewhere along the American River trails most likely (it’ll be safe being off the streets). This will be a very family-friendly event and all ages will be encouraged to participate.
Ideas are flowing, so keep checking back to see how things evolve. Our hope is to see many residents, organizations, churches and businesses find creative ways to participate in the upcoming shoe drive. We are looking for a large amount of people to team up together in this very practical cause. We encourage you to consider how your talents, passions and abilities could fit in to the shoe drive.
May we find ways to be intentional about blessing local homeless students. May we be creative in coming months. May we have a whole lot of fun as we do what we do.
We are pleased that Cordova Neighborhood Churchshowed our latest videoat both of their church services this morning. We love to see local churches and other groups get involved to support homeless students in Rancho Cordova & Folsom. If you are part of the CNC family, we want to welcome you to our website and thank you for your generosity, past support, and any continued intention to find practical and meaningful ways to care for local students. If you are on Facebook too, please join our Facebook Group and Page.
We welcome any local churches, organizations, groups, businesses, households and individuals to get involved in our efforts. We are a team and Project 680 belongs to all of us.
May we discover together as a community how to care for students in practical and relevant ways.
The Project 680 community meeting on September 22, 2009 (6:30-8:00pm) will be held at Gold River Carpet One Floors & Homeat 11367 Pyrites Way- Suite A Rancho Cordova, CA 95670.
This meeting will be a time to brainstorm how we can best partner with the District Liaison for Homeless Services this Fall for a shoe drive and a boutique. Bring your creative ideas, a desire for teamwork, and consider how you might give a few minutes here and there between now and December 2009 (the shoe drive & boutique will take place then) to help local homeless students get new shoes and even be able to do some shopping at a boutique.
If you are able, let us know if you can make it so that we can plan best. You can visit Facebook HERE (temporary event link until the event is over) or call Ryan at 916-595-3735 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.