Helping Our Communities: Dignity Pack Drive 2018

February 4, 2019 Aileen Lennon

Appirio in Dublin WeWork offices putting together dignity care packs with personal care items for homeless people

In 1969, Brother Kevin founded the Day Centre, a place that welcomes people in need of food aid, who have no home, or are socially excluded. The Centre provides about 800 meals a day and 350 food packages a week to Dublin’s disenfranchised and homeless populations. They also provide showers, clothing, and access to an array of advocacy services. For those with young children, they provide formula, diapers, and other essentials, as well as medical services. 
In truth, they give all they have, which is made possible by donations.

In 2017 for the Future of the Cloud Day (FOTCD), Appirio Dublin arranged for clothes to be donated to our offices. We spent an entire day sorting clothes by type and size and delivered them to the Centre as well as a small charity that does street outreach to seek and help the most vulnerable homeless people in our community. 

Appirio is part of the WeWork network and has an excellent rapport with the team in Dublin, so I suggested a co-organized Dignity Pack Drive for 2018. After some heavy messaging and office-to-office canvassing, we had a massive response and gathered an incredible number of items. 

What is a Dignity Pack?

Dignity Packs organized by Appirio and WeWork before they were delivered to the Capuchin Day Centre

It’s shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothpaste, razors, female sanitary products, and hygiene products for children - basically any personal care items that are too costly for people living well below the poverty line.

Together, we assembled over 170 packs - each containing about seven personal care items. We also collected over 100 packages of baby wipes plus two brimming-over boxes of miscellaneous items. The offices that donated, did what we did: refrained from buying fruit, drinks, and snacks for two weeks and diverted that budget to the drive. 

Aileen Lennon quote that says It's all about perspective... there's always a way to help people who are worse off than you.

So on the Thursday before Christmas 2018, we packed and delivered everything to the Centre. The operators and volunteers were very grateful and very busy serving the community at the height of the holiday season. WeWork was so thrilled by the outcome that they have decided to do more to foster a sense of community in Dublin, and I intend to be front and center in the effort. 

We’ll be doing small Silver Lining activities every month in 2019 to keep the positive momentum going - to stay focused and make a habit of it. Maybe it’s two hours at bag pack, or doing some business analyst work on Salesforce, or simply joining other groups already volunteering, but we can all do our part to change the world - at the very least - our small corner of it. 

Stay tuned, we’ll be sending out a list of volunteering opportunities - more details to come! 

About the Author

Aileen Lennon

Aileen Lennon, Project Manager at Apprio, has been committed to volunteering ever since she was a child. She is a Scout Leader (20+ years), Chair of the local Community Council, a Board member of two charities and a strong supporter of homeless charities, especially The Capuchin Day Centre. She is known for her diplomacy skills - which she turns on and off at will. Her ability to negotiate anything from anyone is legendary, and she will rock up having 'blagged' free food, gifts, and stuff from whomever she randomly meets in the WeWork offices.

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