The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, in collaboration with the Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium are kicking off a new campaign to support our neighbors in need through the Ministerium’s outreach programming. “Asking for Change, More than Coins,” is an effort to change attitudes towards our less fortunate neighbors and support those in need. We can do more and Asking for Change provides opportunities for Pittsburghers to create change.
The Downtown Ministerium is a collaboration of all Downtown churches and chaplaincies that provides daily services, from emergency food, crisis counseling, transportation assistance, and referrals to area social service agencies. Additional services provided by individual Ministerium members include food pantry services, community meals, and services for specific vulnerable populations.
“We want to provide concerned Pittsburghers with a way to support their neighbors in need,” said Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “By supporting the Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium, people have the opportunity to support a range of services to our neighbors in need. We hope to encourage dialogue and to bring a positive change to our Downtown community.”
The Asking for Change Campaign will be promoted in Downtown retailers, in on-street advertisement displays located throughout Downtown, and in the lobbies of many of Downtown’s largest office buildings. The campaign will encourage people to text to give to the Downtown Ministerium’s outreach work by simply texting “Give” to 412-274-7146. In addition to providing financial support, the campaign is intended to spark conversations, encourage respect for others, and suggest ways we can treat our neighbors more compassionately.
“Like any other segment of the population, individuals experiencing homelessness have a wide variety of life stories resulting in a wide variety of wants and needs. The one thing they all share is the same as the one thing we each share, the desire to be acknowledged and respected. It can be as simple as a smile or ‘hey, take care!’” said Jay Poliziani, Director of Northside Common Ministries.
Soup for a Change
To launch the campaign and provide Pittsburghers with an opportunity to begin a dialogue about homelessness and poverty, the PDP will host a special, free soup lunch on Tuesday, October 3. From 11:30 – 1:00 p.m., in Strawberry Way, people are invited to drop by and share lunch and conversation with a stranger. Participants will be served a free soup lunch, provided by the Allegheny HYP Club. Each participant will be paired with someone they have never met before and will be provided with some conversation starters about homelessness and poverty in our area.
According to Reverend Kimberly Greway, President of the Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium, “Our intention with the ‘Soup for Change’ event is to kick off this campaign with thoughtful conversation among neighbors. We believe this is a wonderful opportunity for Pittsburghers to not only meet someone new, but to engage in a dialogue that has the power to change how we interact in the world.”
The campaign was developed by Shift Collaborative. In addition to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, many other organizations came together to develop the overall message, including representatives from the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Human Services, Operation Safety Net, and North Side Common Ministries.
For more information about Soup for Change, More than Coins, please visit morethancoins.org.
About the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) is a dynamic, nonprofit organization comprised of business and community leaders, property owners, civic organizations, foundations and residents who provide energy, vision and advocacy for Downtown Pittsburgh. Working collaboratively with its partners, the PDP strives to create a positive Downtown experience for residents, workers and visitors alike. The PDP’s strategic initiatives include clean and safe services, transportation, and economic development and advocacy. For more information, visit www.DowntownPittsburgh.com, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/downtownpitt and “like” us on Facebook.
About the Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium
The Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium, Inc., exists to provide a united Christian witness in the heart of the City of Pittsburgh and to reach out in love to the homeless, the poor, and others in need. Its membership comprises the clergy of the churches, ministries, and non-profit social service organizations which are located in the Downtown community and adjacent neighborhoods.