By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The 2018 Wrap Up Homelessness Campaign is now underway giving Oklahoma City residents an oppotunity to help those who are transitioning through homelessness.
For the third year in a row, the Curbside Chronicle has partnered with local artists to design holiday wrapping paper for sale to the public. The wrapping paper is sold by vendors for The Curbside Chronicle, a program of the Oklahoma City Homeless Alliance.
The Curbside Chronicle is the state’s first and only “street paper” created to provide both a voice and employment opportunities for people who are homeless. Sales of the Chronicle enables people to earn enough money to get into housing and end their homelessness.
The holiday wrapping paper has been created by professional Oklahoma artists with designs ranging from traditional to funky holiday themes. Each package includes five 24″x36″ sheets of wrapping paper and is sold for prices ranging from $8 to $20.
Local artists include Kris Kanaly, Katelynn Knick, Aditi Panchal, JUURI, Marissa Raglin, Betty Refour, Emily Hamm, Tony Thunder, Arjan Jager and Mark, a Curbside vendor.
“I wanted to make sure my design didn’t resemble any of the other artists,” Tony posted on Facebook. “That’s when I decided to illustrate something so original and off the wall that there would be no way of that ever happening. I called in E.T. and dressed him in iconic Christmas movie costumes. The rest is history.
“ In addition, this year a special package design will feature custom artwork by Wayne Coyne, lead singer of the Flaming Lips. Known for his eccentric art, Coyne’s wrapping paper will be sold separately.
Packages of wrapping paper can be purchased directly from Curbside vendors who are transitioning out of homelessness. Individuals selling the wrapping paper will be easily recognizable wearing their green Curbside Chronicle vests. They can be found selling the Chronicle at intersections, sidewalks, public spaces and events throughout Oklahoma City.
Packages will be available at local retailers throughout the metro area like DNA Galleries and various holiday events such as the Indie Trunk Show. This year, wrapping paper will also be sold each weekend at the Holiday Pop-Up Shops in the Midtown OKC area.
“The wrapping paper is a great way to make your gifts extra special this year,” said Ranya Forgotson, program director of The Curbside Chronicle at the Homeless Alliance. ”It features unique, local art and directly supports people who are working their way out of homelessness. You’ll not only be giving a gift to your friend or family member, but you’ll be giving the gift of empowerment to someone in Oklahoma City who is working to make their situation better.
“Because of creative campaigns like this, Curbside was able to help 41 vendors end their homelessness last year — overcoming over 215 years of combined homelessness,” Ranya added.
The Wrap Up Homelessness initiative is sponsored by Fowler Automotive, Citizens Bank of Edmond, and Orthodontic Arts.
“This is a great campaign, not only because of the people that it’s helping, but it introduces local artists to a broader community,” said Kristen Vails, arts advocate and director of community outreach with Fowler Automotive. “It’s pretty special that people will have custom Oklahoma art under their tree.”
All proceeds from packages purchased from individuals will go directly to that individual who is working their way out of homelessness. Proceeds from store purchases will benefit The Curbside Chronicle and its mission to employ and empower men and women transitioning out of homelessness in Oklahoma City.
To purchase wrapping paper online or for more details about Wrap Up Homelessness, visit wrapuphomelessness.com.
In addition to providing a source of income, the Curbside Chronicle works with their vendors to break down barriers to traditional employment and develop time management, money management and social skills.
For more information, visit The Curbside Chronicle website.