As you bring home gifts to put under the tree, you may consider wrapping them in paper that helps a good cause. The Homeless Alliance's Curbside Chronicle vendors are selling wrapping paper right now at Penn Square Mall and street corners around Oklahoma City.
Local muralists, tattoo artist and even the lead singer of The Flaming Lips contributed artwork for this year’s round of wrapping paper, all in an effort to help those in need for the holidays.
“We have really traditional designs and then we have pretty non-traditional designs too,” says Ranya O’Connor, director of the Curbside Chronicle.
The Curbside Chronicle has something for everyone at their new Penn Square Mall kiosk. This Black Friday, they hoped to remind shoppers to pick up something to wrap all the gifts they were buying. Flaming Lips star Wayne Coyne's look is a popular pick.
O’Connor says, “He designed a special package for us this year that’s pretty psychedelic.”
The unique wrapping paper comes with a unique back story. The people selling it and the Curbside Chronicle magazine are either homeless or at-risk of becoming so, and the money helps support vendors like Tee Mathis.
“A lot of people think it’s just for the homeless, but it’s not. Single parent, low-income, if you need help they’re willing,” says Mathis, who is not homeless herself.
Mathis joined the Chronicle team after her son started selling the magazine during his bout with homelessness. After a year, he was able to move into an apartment.
Mathis says, “He’s on to bigger and better things thanks to the Chronicle.”
That is the type of success story the creators of the Chronicle hope for, and more and more people are reaping the benefits.
“We’re really ecstatic,” O’Connor says. “This year so far we’ve been a part of over 30 people ending their homelessness in Oklahoma City in our program, so we’re just hoping to bring more people home this holiday season.”
The wrapping paper will be on sale until Dec. 24 at your neighborhood Curbside Chronicle vendor and at the Penn Square kiosk, which is located on the second floor above Santa Claus.