How CITYPAKs are helping our Friends in Wichita
ShowerUp is a non-profit organization serving those experiencing homelessness and anyone in need by providing mobile showers, hygiene resources, and personal care. It’s their goal to Shower Grace, Hope, and Love with everyone.
Inside the ShowerUp mobile shower units, guests will find private, comfortable “shower suites” with a clean shower and sink with plenty of hot water and whatever they need to Shower Up!
ShowerUp Wichita is one of six branches serving those in housing transition. Other branches of the organization exist in Nashville TN, Huntsville AL, Chicago IL, Hartford CT, and Boston MA. All branches are supported through the gifts and donations of individuals, families, businesses, and churches, and ShowerUp Wichita uses such donations to fund an annual purchase of CITYPAKs, which are then given to their friends in need.
Like many nonprofits, gathering community members for fundraising efforts during COVID-19 presented a unique set of challenges. The winter of 2021/2022 was especially challenging with the DELTA variant peak. As such ShowerUp Wichita turned to Facebook to drive its annual fundraising, focusing their efforts on building community awareness, support and action on the platform.
They see their friends who are experiencing homelessness carrying their belongings in trash or plastic grocery bags, and know that it’s not sustainable. They want to be able to give their friends something that will keep everything secure and safe, and protect their persons from the rain and elements. They know that this is one of the ways in which they can live their mission and shower grace, hope and love in their community.
ShowerUp Wichita has been ordering from CITYPAK annually since 2020. The PAKs are given out at Showering Events, which typically occur up to four times a month. At these events ShowerUp Wichita partners with different non-profits in their own community to help serve those they’re serving. While the PAKs are not filled with items, often the PAKs are given alongside hygiene kits or other items such as blankets or clothing, and recipients can pick what they need to go into their PAK. When recipients receive a PAK they receive so much more than just a convenient and secure way to carry everything they own.
Kristy Jackson, Local Coordinator, ShowerUp Wichita noted that they have not looked elsewhere in years and says that “if we didn’t choose CITYPAK I think we probably would spend a lot more money on other backpacks that are not as good a quality, or are smaller and /or perhaps may not last as long. We would also be asking our community to donate more money to purchasing items that aren’t sustainable, taking away donations from other valuable items we also need”.
Custom-designed by High Sierra, we’re proud that our PAKs speak to the specific needs of our partner’s communities, and that recipients feel respected, supported, and seen when gifted a PAK, something ShowerUp Wichita has experienced first hand.
"CITYPAK backpacks represent Dignity. Value. Worth. We at ShowerUp are able to see this firsthand when we place one in the hands of our friends currently experiencing homelessness & show them the many features designed with them in mind. They feel seen and cared for on another level." - Kristy Jackson, Local Coordinator, ShowerUp Wichita