Surly Gives A Damn works with many charitable organizations across the Twin Cities to give back to the communities and neighborhoods that support us. Throughout 2021, we’re going to highlight some of the longest-running SGAD partners and what they do.
What: Bridging provides donated furniture and household goods to families and individuals transitioning out of homelessness and poverty, providing hope and a chance at stability. With locations in Roseville and Bloomington, Bridging is driven by volunteers and donations of basic home essential items from the community. Since 1987, Bridging has served more than 100,000 households and more than 300,000 individuals, plus they’ve reduced landfill space by 11 million pounds each year.
How: 2021 marks a full decade of SGAD & Bridging working together. Our first few events saw us sorting some blankets for donation and building 30 dressers. As the years progressed, our efforts ramped up. We brought dresser builds internally to Surly employees and we competed alongside other breweries to assemble the most dressers in one volunteer shift. Bridging’s Diana Dalsin brought in Surly, Insight, Barrel Theory, and Dangerous Man for a Brewery Battle that saw our four breweries put together nearly 90 dressers in one night. (While Dangerous Man won the speed round, we surpassed Barrel Theory by three for most dressers assembled. Not that we’re keeping track.)
By the end of 2020, Surly’s tally rose to 625 total dressers.
2020 turned out to be a different type of year for everyone, SGAD and Bridging included. Our partnership shifted. Not only were dressers needed, but so were other forms of work. Bridging’s steadfast volunteer force was shaken and health restrictions, though necessary, made their mission more challenging. Yet they still managed to help folks coming out of homelessness. Bridging remained an essential business despite running on a skeleton crew with very, very limited volunteers. When restrictions lifted a little bit, Diana reached out to SGAD to see if SGAD could help. There were so many donations incoming, with items still needing to get processed and clients needing assistance. They needed hands…we said yes. SGAD returned in small groups, with strict COVID protocols in place. By the end of 2020, we were back to building dressers, sorting bedding, rolling towels, and running a donation drive on their behalf. We came together for 11 volunteer events that equaled 316 hours in a very challenging year.
SGAD’s Mary Sellke on Bridging: SGAD believes in Bridging’s mission of empowering people pursuing housing stability to thrive in their homes by providing quality furniture and household goods. Our volunteer efforts with Bridging create a means for SGAD to lend a hand in helping our community and community members who are transitioning out of homelessness. They do a lot of good for a lot of people and SGAD is happy to be a part of these efforts.
The Future: We have more events coming this year. Please check our website and our social channels for times and dates when they’re posted. For their part, Bridging “can’t wait” to see more SGAD volunteers in action in 2021. The SGAD volunteers have been vital in getting big projects done so they can best serve the clients during their virtual and safe shopping trip for basic home essentials.
In addition to future SGAD events, Bridging needs your help to serve their mission to empower people to thrive in their homes. They are safely serving more than 80 households each week. Stay connected by visiting their website (www.bridging.org) to learn about additional individual and group volunteer options, how to donate your stuff and support the communities in need.