By DANIEL SUDDEATH
Ben Gordon was having a bad day at work, but instead of drowning in apathy, he looked outward.
“I took a step back for a second and said I need to focus on something besides me,” Gordon said.
It didn’t take Gordon long to think of those who are in need of help.
He set his sights on assisting the homeless, and hatched the idea of a group of people each wearing backpacks handing out food and clothing. The name of the group came naturally, as Gordon dubbed his new team The Love Pack. More than just providing supplies, Gordon wanted to form a group of people who would share experiences and conversations with the homeless in the area.
The name is more than just a reference to the backpacks, he said.
“It’s also a pack of people going out on the street to make a difference one-on-one,” Gordon said. “Those kind of interactions will be what drives everyone to do it.”
On Sept. 28, local bands and businesses are helping to back Gordon’s cause. A concert is slated for Dillinger’s Music Venue where admission will be $5 or $5 worth of canned goods or donated clothing, and The Irish Exit will contribute 15 percent of drink sales at the event to The Love Pack. Also, Dillinger’s will donate all of the admission fees to the organization.
The bands that will play also aren’t charging Gordon for their services. Gordon said even person running sound for Dillinger’s is donating his time on Sept. 28 for the cause.
“The response from everybody has just been great,” Gordon said.
The following Saturday after the concert, The Love Pack and any interested volunteers will hand out the collected goods to homeless people in the area.
Gordon said local police officers have notified him of where camps of homeless people are usually located, and The Love Pack will concentrate on those areas first to distribute the items.
Remaining proceeds from the concert will be used to purchase items for the homeless. Any additional items not dispersed will be given to The Salvation Army or homeless shelters in Southern Indiana and Kentucky.
Gordon said he’s overwhelmed by the support of his friends, The Irish Exit and Dillinger’s.
“So far this has been a zero cost, amazing charity,” he said.
Matt McMahan, owner of The Irish Exit, credited Gordon for trying to combat a problem that he said is rampant in Southern Indiana.
“A lot of people who may go out and spend $30 or $40 on dinner in downtown New Albany and don’t realize that just $5 could help out and feed someone that night,” he said.
The Whiskey Riders, Field of Kings and Ranger are slated to play the Sept. 28 show. There will be an information booth at the event with details on how to join The Love Pack.
Dillinger’s is located at 203 E. Main St. in downtown New Albany. Gordon can be reached at 812-557-8085 for those wishing to help his cause.