By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Curbside is debuting a holiday wreath campaign with all wreaths hand-assembled by people in their program. This program is a follow up to the successful Curbside Valentine’s and Mother’s Day flower campaigns, and the next step toward the goal of opening their own traditional flower shop.
Curbside Chronicle vendors are trained and paid to build wreaths practicing job skills like teamwork, communication and how to follow detailed instructions. They are then employed to sell the wreaths at pop-up shops, exercising time management and social skills.
The state’s first and only street paper, The Curbside Chronicle was created to provide a voice and employment opportunities for people who are experiencing and at risk of homelessness.
After vendors are paid for their work, profits from sales are reinvested in the vendor program, funding essential services like case management for participants.
The deadline to pre-order wreaths is now closed, but a limited number of wreaths will be available for pick-up while supplies last at one of three pop-up shops beginning Dec. 5 in Oklahoma City and Edmond. For more details about the holiday wreaths, visit CurbsideFlower.org.
The Curbside Chronicle is also unveiling new designs for their “Wrap Up Homelessness” holiday wrapping paper program. Each piece of wrapping paper is designed by a popular Oklahoma artist and sold by people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Artists include Jake Beeson, Josh Boydston, Melissa Jacobs, Trisha Thompson, Ebony Iman Dallas, Brittany Viklund, SULLYSTRING, Jayna Hadwiger, Holey Kids and Lauren Washa. The Oklahoma City Streetcars will be wrapped in designs by artist Josh Boydston featuring illustrations of Oklahoma City landmarks and transit icons.
Each package features five different holiday designs printed locally on paper made in the United States.
Wrapping paper will be sold at booth events like Indie Trunk Show, the Holiday Pop-Up Shops in Midtown, local retailers, and on the streets of Oklahoma City from Curbside vendors wearing green vests. To purchase wrapping paper online, or more information, visit WrapUpHomelessness.org.
“The wrapping paper is a great way to make your gifts extra special this year,” said Ranya O’Connor, director of The Curbside Chronicle. “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.”
Sponsorships for both campaigns include Fowler Automotive, Citizen Bank of Edmond, Verbode and Embark.
The Homeless Alliance has several housing programs for families with children, veterans, and people who are chronically homeless. The organization also operates the Westtown Homeless Resource Campus, which includes a Resource Center with offices for multiple nonprofit and government agencies, a housing complex, and a Day Shelter that serves an average of 350 people each day.
Year-end donations to help stop homelessness in Oklahoma City can be made online at thecurbsidechronicle.org. Checks payable to The Curbside Chronicle can be mailed to 1724 NW 4th Street, OKC, 73106.