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Gun Violence Awareness Month
at The Soul Box Project

Today, June 2, is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. This kicks off a busy month at The Soul Box Project.

First of all, we have set a goal of collecting 10,000 Soul Boxes in the 30 days of June. This is our way of keeping the fight against gun violence front and center all month. 


“…keeping the fight against gun violence front and center all month.”

Two days ago, after I typed that sentence, I paused to check a text from Soul Box founder Leslie Lee. She shared a headline: 11 Killed in Shooting at Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

Minutes before, I'd been trying to think of clever ways to motivate you to make more and more Soul Boxes this month. Suddenly, I was out of words. 

We don’t need a special month to remain aware of the gun violence around us. We only need a newsfeed. 
I cannot imagine the pain – physical or emotional – of the people involved in this latest shooting. All I can do is continue to work hard to raise awareness of the gunfire epidemic around us. There is somebody out there who is turning away from the numbers today. There is somebody who needs to be reminded. There is somebody who needs to see piles of Soul Boxes in order to get it – to feel it in the gut – and do something.  
Yes, June is going to be a busy month at The Soul Box Project. I hope that the events we have planned and the tools we’ve put together will help in some small way to move our country closer to a solution to this madness. 

Nanci Tangeman, volunteer

10,000 Soul Boxes

We can make our goal of collecting 10,000 Soul Boxes this month if we all work together. Nationwide, we need to fold 333 Boxes every single day. Can you pledge to fold one Box a day? Can you challenge your friends to do the same? The people in your office, your faith community, your graduating class? Chances are, the awareness this newest tragedy brings will disappear in the next few days. You can change that.

Start today. Use #SoulBoxChallenge and post your Soul Boxes on social media before sending them in.

Wear Orange Weekend

Wear Orange Weekend is June 8-9. The Soul Box Project is an official nonprofit partner of Wear Orange. Volunteers will be carrying Soul Box backpacks and holding Soul Box folding events around the country. You can learn more about Wear Orange and find an event near you here. See our list of tools below for more ideas.

Special Events at our Soul Box Workspace

For supporters in the Portland, Oregon area, we have lots of events planned at our Soul Box workspace in the Multnomah Arts Center, Cottages #1 & 2,  7740 SW Capitol Hwy. Portland, OR 97219. (Currently not wheelchair accessible.)*

Find an updated schedule here
Want to help with an event or suggest one? Let us know!

Join us for Marathon Mondays where we’ll make Boxes as fast as we can and pile them up! Paper and folding supplies will be stocked and ready for you. Doors will be open from 10 am – 9 pm, with volunteers available to help newcomers learn to fold Soul Boxes. Every Monday in June.

You can also stop by any time this month from 10 am - 4 pm, Tuesday - Friday, to fold Soul Boxes. 

Surround Yourself with 50,000 Soul Boxes. Bring a group and meet under a canopy of 3,000 Soul Boxes, representing the number of people killed in one month. Fold Soul Boxes, write poetry, hold team-building events... Groups up to 20 can be accommodated. Contact us to schedule your group.

A Thank-You Gift for Volunteers. Whether you tie Boxes on panels, fold Soul Boxes or help the Project in some other way, here’s an event to say, “Thank you.” In keeping with our guiding principle to use materials and practices that minimize environmental impact, we’ll put our paper trimmings to good use. Fold yourself a beautiful stationery box and fill it with colorful note paper. Wednesday, June 5, 6-8 pm. Please RSVP here.

Collage with artist Poppy Dully. Use collage to express your message or honor a victim on your Soul Box. During the first session, source images from magazines and other places. In the second session, complete your Soul Box image.

Collage content search, Thursday, June 27, 6 - 8 pm. Personalize Soul Boxes with collage, Friday, June 28, 10 am - noon. Reserve your spot here.  
Boxes and a Book. Join us for a special book discussion about An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz. So often our attention goes to the mass shootings in the news. Fold Soul Boxes and discuss this thoughtful book about the reality of living in some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods — the places where they have the motto, “Sun’s out. Guns out.” Nonfiction. 

Wednesday, June 26, 6-8 pm. Please RSVP here.
Watch our website and social media for more information. Events will be added during the month, as well. We look forward to seeing you and hearing from you if you are not in the Portland area.

*Presently the workspace building is not accessible to wheelchairs. Although we have a ramp leading up the workspace, there is a 6-inch barrier on the ground. In August, the workspace will close to be updated to full ADA accessibility by the Multnomah Arts Center.

Soul Box Tools for Awareness Month 

Check out our website for ways to bring Soul Boxes to your Gun Violence Awareness Month activities:

● Download folding instructions and a watch a how-to-fold video here.

● Find tools for sharing Soul Boxes, here including

  • guidelines for hosting a Soul Box-making gathering
  • a downloadable flyer with folding instructions
  • ideas for adopting Soul Boxes in your faith community .

● Find information about bringing Soul Boxes to your town here including making or reserving Soul Box backpacks and hosting an exhibition.

● Learn how to personalize your Soul Boxes and find victims’ names here.

● Get mailing tips for your Soul Boxes here.

● Find out where to drop off Soul Boxes in the Portland, Oregon area here. . 

Other Upcoming Events
On-going Public Box-making sessions listed on our calendar
June 2: No More Gun Violence Art Show, Portland, OR
June 3: Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness Art Show, Portland, OR
June 21: Artful Grief Studio, Portland, OR
All Summer: Box-making at First Fridays, Milwaukie, OR
August 2: Exhibition Opening at City Hall, Milwaukie, OR
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