Friday, February 6, 2009

What I do with Pennies for the Homeless

For the past 9 years with this organization, I have had the privilege to meet some amazing people, including people who attend the show just to "do something good for their neighborhood" as well as designers from around the world. The designers we have brought in have included Mark Montano, Fedor, Bill Blass and many others.

Every year that I have been involved, I have helped put the final pieces of the annual fashion show and tea event together. This means that I get up at the crack of dawn, go to Hotel Albuquerque, and set up 60+ tables with flower arrangements, pamphlets in which the featured designer's background and style is mentioned along with the board members for Pennies for the Homeless background and usually small gifts that the designer brings in. These gifts have been small bottles of perfume or chocolates. I have also been called upon to help dress the models...that's a chore! When you're three feet shorter than some of these women trying to help button their dress up to their neck or help put a hat on, the job gets challenging but there is always a step-stool nearby. Other years I have helped sell accessories the designer crates in, such as jewelry, scarfs, purses, etc. At the end of each show, I have been asked to go to each table and collect any money for donations or money that was bid on a particular piece.

As you can see, being a volunteer means you are there to do anything and everything. Although I tend to volunteer my time only once a year, I know that I am still making a difference and love being a part of it! I was asked to participate by my neighbor, who, until recently, was a board member, but you too can get involved in many ways. To help with the fashion show or find out how to make a donation, call Joseph Saavedra at JS 11th Street Salon at 244-1518. For any other questions, please post them here and I'll do my best to find your answer.

Mark Montano (top)
Bill Blass designs (bottom)


  1. Hi Regan,
    Nice job on your post. I really had no idea that Pennies for the Homeless had a fashion shoe, I thought it was just a charity.

    That's really cool that you get to do all that stuff at the show. It sounds very interesting and challenging!

  2. Hey Regan,
    When is the fasion show? Do you guys have a soup kitchen that I could get involved with?

  3. Hey Regan,

    What does the group do with the proceeds? In other words, how do they decide which shelter or charity gets what?

    There's a soup kitchen on Yale, near the South Lot called Project Share. I've helped out there before. It's a great place to bring in a group or organization to do the cooking and serving.

  4. In December, right before Christmas, I met Love McGee. Love is a realtor (Love Realty) who had become very interested in helping homeless kids in ABQ. I think she said that there are about 800 of them K-12. APS does offer programs, but Love particularly wanted to make sure all kids had wrapped Christmas presents. I could not help as i was leaving town, but I really hope you can contact her--maybe do an interview. I'd also like to hear about where these kids sleep and what APS actually does for them.
    Love McGee 505.256.8306. Her business is at 1524 Eubank NE Suite 6.

  5. Here's a link to a video. It's kind of noisy in the beginning but interesting thereafter. Note captions at the top right (library, fitness room). Alex and Shannon and other followers, I was telling Regan that her blog raises really fascinating ethical questions about how to represent the homeless as dignified people in a non exploitative way, yet at the same time to present a "reality" that angers people and makes them want to do something. Here's the URL.


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