StreetWise Vendors Priscilla Orr and .Russell Adams have an incredible supporter in their customer John Frett. After getting to know both vendors, Frett extended the gift of friendship and bought both Priscilla and Russell a ticket to our annual StreetWise Gala last September. Both vendors reflect on their experience.
How did you feel when you found out Mr. Frett bought you a ticket to the Gala?Priscilla: Wasn’t that really nice? It was so wonderful, especially seeing all the people who are contributors to StreetWise. That’s what really got to me. I was just looking at [all the people] and I was like, ‘Wow. These people, really, really care.’ So that was a big experience for me.
Russell: It was really nice [of him]. John’s a real good guy. He’s like a father figure. He’s always making me sandwiches to eat. He says, ‘You gotta eat something! You’re looking kind of small there!’ (laughs)
What did you think of the Gala?
P: It made me feel even more proud of what I do. Even though I do want a regular job – we all do – after the Gala, I went to work downtown and I was on fire. I feel really proud about what I do now.
R: [The Gala] was really nice. It’s always nice to get away for awhile. Because selling StreetWise, I’m outside all day long and when the weekends come, I’m exhausted, so it was nice to get dressed up and get out.
What was your favorite part of the program?
P: To see all the contributions that StreetWise got. I just saw that people really care. And when I was looking at the three vendors from StreetWise who were honored – [Michael Dunbar, Don Smith and Troy Dixon El] – I clapped for them because that is so true. StreetWise has just given so many of us a way out, just like it’s given them a way out.R: The speakers [were my favorite part of the program]. I liked the way [Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power, Inc.] was talking about growing the vegetables and all that good stuff. That’s a good idea to feed the hungry. And it’s an opportunity for employment. That’s the best part. A lot of people out here are unemployed and that would be a good thing for them to do.
If you had a chance to get up on stage and say something to the guests, what would you have said?
P: I would tell them to please continue to contribute to StreetWise, because there are still so many homeless people out there… I was homeless once, too. And [the homeless] really need this kind of support, so please help to keep the doors open. I would also thank Mr. and Mrs. John Frett for buying me a ticket and two [other loyal customers of mine who were also there], Monty Kehl and Craig Wilbanks.
R: I would just thank everybody for supporting StreetWise and I appreciate them very much… from the bottom of my little, bitty heart. Wait… it’s a big heart! (laughs)
Written by Brittany Langmeyer,
StreetWise Director of Marketing