Brighten the Corner
Where You Are!
Touching the Lives of Homeless People with Love
Blankets, Socks, Friends, & Hope
Brighten the Corner provides haircuts, hot meals, nutritious snack packs, and socks (and often shoes, blankets, sleeping bags, mats, and clothes) to homeless people. Every week, we build friendships, give encouragement, restore hope and their sense of dignity, and try to connect them with community resources for housing and jobs. We also try to re-connect them with their family and relatives.
Nutrition, Water, & Dignity
Brighten the Corner takes healthful food directly to people experiencing homelessness. We provide Taco Bell food and nutritious snacks such as protein bars. Dehydration is a problem among homeless people, so we provide water and meal-replacement shakes. We treat everyone with dignity and take time to listen and learn their name. We have also provided live music to bring them cheer.
It is more blessed to give than to receive. We believe that one of the greatest joys in life is what we…
We are planting a seed. As Rabbi Harold Kushner mentioned in When Everything You Always Wanted Isn’t Enough, the ancient rabbis taught…
Money is not the only way to assist. We do need donations to buy food, blankets, and sleeping bags to share with…
Our Mission Statement
As an all-volunteer nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity serving homeless people every week, Brighten the Corner provides hot meals, nutritious snack packs, clothes, shoes, socks, blankets, sleeping bags, and portable air mattresses to people experiencing homelessness. More importantly, we take time to listen and develop friendships; we call them by name, and treat them with dignity and compassion. We share a smile and encouragement. As we become good friends, we try to connect them with other resources that can help with housing, healthcare, and employment. Ultimately, we give them hope … and many of them have said that we are making a difference!
First, We Love Them
Brighten the Corner shares nutritious snacks such as meal-replacement protein bars, and wholesome and filling Cheesy Bean and Rice Burritos with our homeless friends downtown. We are also supplying sleeping bags, blankets, and soft roll-up mats to provide padding for those who sleep on the sidewalk.
More importantly, they like to talk with us and enjoy our friendship. We share encouragement, a sense of dignity, and inspiration with people who are largely forgotten by society. We learn their names, shake their hands, and give them a hug. Many have said that it means so much to them to see that we care about them and that we give of our time to be with them. To us, this is what it means to “brighten the corner” where we are.
Love Changes Everything
We believe that every person has a choice to help make the world a better place. We cannot necessarily do great things, but we can do ordinary things with great love. Through our love and friendship, homeless people have found shelter, have gotten jobs, have entered a drug rehab program, and have reconnected to family members. We have seen that it is better to light one little candle than to curse the darkness. We have chosen to take our candle and go light our world. You don’t have to do something “great,” you can just brighten the corner where you are. That is our goal as a small nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity organization. Thanks for helping us make a difference.
Brighten the Corner Where You Are
Our charity’s name, “Brighten the Corner,” comes from an old inspirational song by Ina Ogdon, made famous by legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. The lyrics say:
“Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar;
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.
Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!“
Greet a Homeless Person
When you see a homeless person on the sidewalk, do you look the other way and pass them by? We don’t! At Brighten the Corner, we smile, greet them, shake their hand or give them a hug, and make friends with them. We provide food, socks, shoes, portable air mattresses, and sleeping bags. We listen and talk to them every week, encouraging them with compassion and friendship. A homeless man has said, “If people don’t trust me with money, a greeting or wishing me a good day means just as much.”
Brighten the Corner Is Different
Unlike other nonprofits and charities, Brighten the Corner does not have any paid director or employees. Everyone at Brighten the Corner is a volunteer. Everyone is dedicated to serving others as a way of life. And nobody sits in an office or ivory tower; everyone is active in outreach directly on the street. Everyone gives freely of their time and resources so that any outside donations will go entirely to helping the people we serve. We want to make an impact where it is needed most.
This sums up our philosophy of helping homeless people: “If you see someone falling behind, walk beside them. If someone is being ignored, find a way to include them. If someone has fallen, lift them up. Always remind people of their worth. One smile, one word of encouragement, one small act of kindness, could mean the world to them.”