Yesterday at work, my coworker Danny asked me to accompany him to a meeting he had with Citibank. I figured this was just a typical sit-down meeting to pitch to them what we do at Focus Ireland, but it turned out to be much more.
He asked me to start gathering up some promotional materials for the company because we were actually going there to set up a stand in the lobby during lunchtime. At Focus Ireland, promotional materials are the main materials we use, which means that we don’t have a large impact on the environment. We use them for meetings, direct mailings, and so on. We have a wide variety of types of promotional materials, from customer stories to our annual report to flyers about some of the events we put on. I gathered all of the promotional papers and flyers and two large pop-up stands with Focus Ireland banners and we hopped in a taxi with all of our materials to head to Citibank.
Once we got there, we were greeted by a very friendly man named Malcom who showed us where we would be set up. Danny and I were both blown away when we saw it. They provided us with 10 volunteers with buckets to collect donations, two large tables, and a ton of clothes donations. There were also sleeping bags available to purchase and donate, and we ended up selling all 50 in our two hours there. I was floored by how generous the passerby were to us. There were people who came down with entire suitcases of clothes to donate. Some donated 50 Euro just because they forgot their clothes donation. It was a really moving to see how thoughtful all of the people were.
By the end of our two hours stationed in the lobby of Citibank, we collected a huge amount of clothes and over 2,000 Euro, which the company agreed to match. A lot of people told me they loved our promotional materials and that they really showed them the human side of homelessness. Many signed up to become volunteers. Overall, it was a great afternoon and it was awesome to see how a few flyers can have such a lasting impact on the Irish people.