Anyone who works in downtown Denver knows that parking can be a real hassle, which made the two mile round trip to pick up clothing for our custom screen print orders something of an inconvenience on foot or in a truck.
Problem solved! With the help of our kids and crew we’ve got a new company vehicle! All built in house, this beautiful trike will keep the chiropractor and the meeter maid at bay not having to carry our packages back or park to pick them up any longer. Thank you to every one that chipped in with the build!
Now it’s only fitting that this thing has a proper name. Any suggestions?
From Left to Right: Chuckie Freeman, Kenny, Jordan Robinson, Trent (In basket), Doyle Robinson
Our screen printing business has seen it’s ups and downs and right now it’s headed in a really great direction. I got a chance to catch up with Chuck Freeman (You can call him Chuckie) who has joined our team down in Denver to run our Screen Printing business that helps fund the ministry of Sox Place. We’re stoked to have him on our team!
KR: How long have you been working with Sox Place Screen Printing?
CF: Remotely I’ve been working with Sox Place Screen Printing since May of last year. Physically, I’ve been down here for two weeks.
KR: What about Sox Place makes you want to be here?
CF: From the first time I ever came to Sox Place, there was something about the atmosphere that led me to where I am today. I wanted to be apart of Sox Place. I didn’t care what I had to do, I just wanted to be apart of it. Whether it was sweeping the allies, or hanging with the kids. I just knew I had to be apart of this and be involved in what Sox Place is doing for these kids. It just makes sense that there was going to be a place for me here.
KR: How did you find that place that has now come available to you?
CF: Jordan and I were hanging out at his place and he was expressing the need he had for someone who could do graphic design and do this trade. Ironically enough, unknown to him, this is what I went to school for. Somewhere along the line I went a different direction in what I was educated in, but this was something I knew and was trained to do. One thing led to another and I began receiving emails and design projects and that turned into what it is now.
KR: What’s the extent of your involvement?
CF: I do work full time and I’m in Denver Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and then I’m in Steamboat Springs the rest of the week working with remote contacts.
KR: What direction do you want to see Sox Place Screen Printing go?
CF: One of the directions that Sox Place Screen Printing was heading for some time was a separation from Sox Place itself. It was basically a stand alone business in relation to the drop in center. Myself, Doyle, and Jordan all agreed that it didn’t make any sense for it to take that direction. We all believe that it should be intertwined and the Screen Printing should be more associated with the drop in center than ever before. We want to create consistent branding across all entities. No matter if Sox Place is printing tee shirts, building hot rods, changing the oil on someones car. No matter what we want the same logo, same colors, and same look across the board. Which was not the case before.
KR: If you had a message you wanted to send to people interested in Sox Place Screen Printing what would that be?
CF: What we do is like no one else in the trade. Your money is better spent here than with any other business. 100% of our profits go back into Sox Place. So with any tee shirt, garment, hoodie and hand bag, all the profits from those transactions goes to meals and provisions. Basically we are doing exactly what our tagline says, which is changing lives of street youth one tee shirt at a time.
There’s not many places I like to be without my camera. Maybe that’s because my Dad always had a camera in his hands, always snapping pictures, trying to be the invisible fly one the wall, but at six-foot-seven-inches, being invisible is pretty close to impossible. He taught me how to hold my camera, focus, point, click, and capture. Overtime I grew attached to my camera, because I too loved feeling like a fly on the wall.
Still a bit nervous and feeling like the “new girl” interning at Sox Place, it becomes very comfortable for me to whip out my camera and begin snapping and shooting away, capturing emotions and people that fill the four walls that houses Sox Place. These are the people I want to tell others about, these are the faces that are teaching me about life, life that is hard, but life that is worth living. This week I had my camera out, hiding my face behind the bulky body and capturing life here at Sox Place.
Mellow, one of the frequent visitors began to ask me about my interest in photography. I don’t claim myself a professional but I was happy to show off some of the action shots I had captured that afternoon. Quickly, Mellow began digging through the pack claiming to have something to show me.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but then Mellow whipped out a red package with white polka dots, housing and protecting little printed photographs. I reached out to ask if I could look closer at the photographs. They were all little moments that were telling a greater story of travel and being unsure about the future. One photograph was an image of a street sign in New Orleans and on the back it was captioned “Left…or Right?”
It must have been obvious that I was sincerely interested in the photo with the street sign, as Mellow began to speak “You can have one if you would like, take whichever one is your favorite.” I felt my mouth kind of drop and shoot a look that must have begged the question “are you sure?” This small gift, a simple photograph, changed the rest of my week, as I’m sitting here and writing about it!
The people that come to Sox Place don’t have very much. They have what they need, and what they can carry on their person or back. Many of them come to Sox Place to get necessities that they have run out of. Even in their simplicity of living with necessities, Mellow still decided to be giving. I hope I never forget that moment, and currently I have the photograph gifted to me, in a special place so that I see it every day. What a beautiful reminder that even when I feel that I have little, there’s always something to give, big or small, you never know the weight or impact that gift will make in the life of the receiver.
It’s amazing to me that people that have so little, can still be so giving. Yet there are so many in this world that are well off and comfortable amongst their belongings that won’t give, or only give little. Humbled by Mellow’s gift, I reflect on Luke 21:1-4
Jesus1 looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
If you would like to give to Sox Place, but you don’t know where to start, take a look at our Merch Store! When you buy from us, it helps keep our doors open, and continue to make a difference in lives that need to be shown love, forgiveness, grace. Plus you get a Sox Place swag. Win Win! We appreciate and love all donations made to Sox Place, comment below if you have any questions!
Since being hired as an intern at Sox Place Screen Printing, our new Streets2Stability intern, Mike, has shown promising results. He can now print a job completely on his own from start to finish and has been producing high-quality prints since day one. It has been a pleasure having him on as an intern, and we hope to see this trend continue as we start giving him more responsibility and room to grow. Mike has been able to develop more patience and hopes to be able to help others exit life on the streets through his position at Sox Place Screen Printing.
As we work to expand our small shop, we hope to gain more connections and customers, and ultimately hope to be able to fully financially support our non-profit drop-in center, Sox Place, with no dependence on outside funding. We are striving to grow our business in order to employ more street youth and provide them with the tools they need to conquer homelessness. We know that we are only just beginning our journey towards this dream, but we know that anything is possible, and we will continue to strive toward becoming fully self-sustaining.