Helping new homeless center welcome first residents

LCO, October 2022

Gary Leif Navigation Center opened in late June 2022 to provide outreach and wraparound services for the homeless community in Roseburg, Oregon. Lighthouse Center Oregon (LCO) approached the navigation center to offer support and learned that their first batch of residents needed laundry detergent. LCO also offered to gift personal hygiene and survival kits for the residents.

On October 16, 2022, LCO buzzed with excitement as volunteers showed up to help with this charity project. The goal for the day was to prepare 30 homemade pear cobbler desserts, 16 personal hygiene kits, and 16 basic survival kits. Work stations were set up in the dining room for the small teams to assemble these items.

The dessert team formed a production line to assemble individual servings of pear cobbler made with pears picked from the LCO orchard. Volunteers diced pears, dished stewed pears into boxes, and sprinkled the crunchy streusel topping. The stewed pear filling and the streusel topping had been prepared at the commercial kitchen at Lighthouse Center Bakery. At the end of the line, the boxes of pear cobbler desserts were sealed and labeled.

Another team prepared the personal hygiene kits, filling each clear waterproof pouch with a toothbrush, razor, and small tubes of body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant. Two of these kits were for small children, so the razor and deodorant were removed and 3 containers of bubble wands were added instead.

A third team assembled the survival kits in coloured waterproof pouches. Inside each pouch, LCO volunteers put a flashlight, notepad, pencils, a pack of kleenex tissues, and a reseable bag containing bandaids and antiseptic packages. Two kits were customized for small children by removing the sharp pencils and replacing them with a package of crayons.

The twenty-seven person turnout at LCO to assist with this project was exciting and significant. The project was well organized and the volunteers enjoyed each other’s company as they worked seamlessly to prepare the gifts for the new homeless center. The project enabled LCO to donate and deliver 23 gallons of laundry detergent, a box of asian pears picked from the LCO orchards, 30 individual servings of pear cobbler desserts, 16 personal hygiene kits, and 16 survival kits to Gary Leif Navigation Center.