In August of 2015 Vivienne began working as an Emergency Room scribe for an inner city hospital. There have been many encounters where a homeless man has come in wearing hospital socks from his last visit that are covered in holes. Or he will come in with an extravagant story that lists symptom after symptom, when really all he seeks is a sandwich, or a warm place for the night. Initially, she did not think there was much more she could do than to slip him a few extra hospital sandwiches and juice boxes.
One of the classes Vivienne chose to enroll in during the 2015 fall semester was Public Speaking. For our final project we were assigned a seven-minute persuasive speech. The title of her speech was "Give a man your jacket, not your dollar". After spending weeks writing a speech that’s purpose was to convince the audience to give items of survival and not dollars, she had come to the realization that there was more she could do.
Attending the downtown ASU campus, Vivienne is surrounded by the homeless population on a daily basis. After two years of walking by the same homeless man downtown she decided to stop and offer to buy him a cup of coffee from the shop he was standing outside of. He was bundled in a dirty blanket, and under his hat she could see his weathered skin. He replied no to her offer but did ask for a bottle of coca-cola. Instead of going into the coffee shop she stepped into the mini market next door and bought him four bags of groceries. When she came back out, Vivienne asked if he had a bag to pack them into and he said no. Being friends with the lady inside the market, Vivienne stepped back in and asked if the employee would give her a reusable grocery bag.
The reusable bag She handed him to put his groceries into was the first kind thing another human had done for him in a long time. He was shocked and could not stop saying thank you and smiled with the few teeth he had.
A few weeks later (the week of finals) Vivienne was sitting at an outside table trying to figure out an organic chemistry problem. As she looked up, there was Stewart crossing the street, so proudly carrying his bag.
The purpose of this organization is to engage college students within the community; to create these "back-packs" and give those on the streets a second chance. We hope that with each bak·pak™ given, we will inspire someone on the road to move forward, and to make a come·back in society.