Meet my friend Mitch. Mitch is a 52 year old male that has been living inside the village, a community of homeless people outside of Atlanta, for 2 years. His home is a tent, tucked away in a wooded paradise less than 200 feet from a large grocery store chain. He hasn’t showered since February, and looks forward to his next hair cut. Mitch’s “stuff” is lying on a pallet, hidden underneath a tarp just steps from his tent. I asked Mitch last week what he needed and he replied “a young woman”, which is typical Mitch.
I started ELDER for friends such as Mitch. The word ELDER means overseer, and protector. Even though Mitch is dirty, and the entire world has forgotten him, I have not. I believe in Mitch.
Elder is doing so much more than just meeting basic needs. We interact with our friends inside the village regularly. Our goal is to see each and every one of these guys off the streets, and out of the woods, however, we understand its extremely difficult to achieve this task. I also realize that most of you reading this will never meet Mitch, or have the time to visit the village first hand, and that’s OK. I created ELDER to make it easy for you to still help Mitch without meeting him face to face. Every time you buy from ELDER you are helping people like Mitch.
Our goals is not to guilt you into feeling sorry for the homeless, or guilt you into buying our stuff. Our goals is to create a moment for you to consider what you do have and think about the people who have not. If we create a moment for you such as this, then we feel like we have achieved our goal, and ultimately redefine someones sense of purpose, perhaps even changed someones life. When you buy ELDER, its more than giving. Its Loving…
Grace and Love-
Brian Preston (founder)
My heart is to change the way people think about how they consume fashion. I use to spend hundreds of dollars per year on clothing. I traveled to downtown Atlanta a few years ago with Drew Benton (founder of LiveLove) to pass blankets, coats and sleeping bags to the homeless. Then I learned of people losing their lives on the streets because a lack of basic clothing. The idea of me being so consumed with fashion, while people were literally freezing to death completely wrecked me. I began having conversations with friends and found I was not alone in how much I was consuming in fashion. The issue was huge and the stakes were high.
The truth is I know nothing about clothing. I have no right even being in the clothing business, however I love the challenge of creating an organziation that gives back. I know the economy is bad. I know the cost of fuel is high. I know that people are suffering all over the world, and thats why the time is now. People need our help. We have an abundance.
I have a $200 Iphone, drink $5 coffee, and I wear $50 jeans. We are rich. Help me change landscape of fashion. Lets start a movement together.
Brian Preston (founder)
I remember a little over a year ago while I was in San Diego pasturing a church coming across some sobering statistics as I was going to be sharing on loving those in need for the coming Sunday. They read like this, there are 671, 859 homeless in the U.S, if 100 people represented the worlds population 53 of those people live on less than $2 a day. If you make $4000 a month then you automatically make 100 times more than the average person on the planet. See I have come to realization that homeless are people who are aware of their need of Gods grace and provision. There is not much difference in us besides they lay their head down at night under the stars hoping tomorrow will be a better day, and we lay in our bed, but still wishing the same thing. I believe we are rich even those who consider themselves poor. Because I have been in these homeless camps for the last year in and out building relationships with these people and building a plan to help carry the burden of their situations, and they are just like you and I. In fact some of their stories sound like yours, they just took one, only one, step in the wrong direction and found this destination. It does matter who you are, or what you believe, we all have the responsibility to help our neighbors, mine just happen to live in the woods. Will you be apart of the movement?
I love fashion because it is art. Fashion has so many elements like color, architecture and movement. Fashion moves me because every individual has the ability to create their own interpretation of what fashion means to them and create their signature style. I love the way that fashion allows people to outwardly express an internal feeling. Everyone looks beautiful when they are wearing something that they love!
I tend to sit and think from time to time about how the things I purchase never seem to make any difference in life. I can find cool furniture at junk shops and vintage clothes at thrift shops and random bits at any shop but I get it home and it’s back sitting next to the same crap it was at the store. So what’s the point?………. Don’t really know. But I buy anyway. I’m guessing you do the same. So how much of what you buy is for no reason at all?……………..And how much is for a reason? For a purpose? For a life? For a change? Let us buy to change a life!