Doxie Kaltz, Burners Without Borders Detroit: Homeless Backpack Project

One of our Grant Advisors, and grantee, Jennie Kay, originally identified Danielle “Doxie” Kaltz for a Pollination Project grant in early 2014.  Jennie Kay explains Doxie’s effort like this:  “This was never an initially organized program, Doxie just had some extra things and put them in the back of her car and stopped on the way to work and talked to the guys and gave them the goods. Then more people started giving Doxie things to give away. I have known Doxie to literally give her own boots off her feet to a homeless person in need. For those not familiar, doing this in the City of Detroit is not always a safe thing to do, but at this point everyone pretty well knows Doxie and what she does.”

Doxie has expanded her one woman effort by launching the Burners without Borders Detroit-Homeless Backpack Project. They support a large homeless community in Detroit with basic living resources by handing out backpacks filled with daily living needs: socks, gloves, hat, scarves, rain poncho, juice, hand warmers, water, a soft cereal bar, four-to-five canned goods from various food groups, a can opener, a toiletry pack and other living supplies. A team of nearly 100 volunteers support the project every year.  Backpacks are not handed out en masse at one event, but individual volunteers take the backpacks, and gift them one at a time, asking each homeless person their name and creating a personal connection.

“The fact that others are wanting to be involved and are doing so without our asking is humbling and a measure of success,” Doxie says, “It is proof of the power of giving, and how this project has grown so much from one person doing this out of her car, to about a hundred folks actively involved and caring about this project.”

This year, the volunteers packed a record 430 backpacks and 98 were given away immediately.  Doxie’s impact grant will be used to provide more backpacks and supplies.

GRANT AWARD DATE: 2014 Impact Grant