The year was 2002, Firefighter/Paramedic Craig Poirier along with his fellow Bourne Firefighters came together and began Homeless for the Holidays. Their mission was to collect unwrapped new toys, non-perishable food items and monetary donations. They partnered with Cape Cod Radio PIXY 103 and from that partnership it was decided the volunteers would sleep out continuously for 103 hours. On December 18th at 8 am the first Homeless for the Holidays kicked off and ran straight through to Sunday December 22 at 3 pm. They collected a total of $6,200, 250 bags of food and over 3000 toys.
Since the inception of Homeless for the Holidays in 2002, a great deal has changed, but a great deal has stayed the same. The initial mission has stayed the same, but many fire and police departments have joined Bourne to make a difference in their communities. The brotherhood of the fire and police departments has grown along with Homeless for the Holidays. Currently 17 fire and police departments across Cape Cod have joined this effort and all events run simultaneously with Bourne.
Bourne established a “Kick-Off Party” at the Mezza Luna Restaurant 12 years ago and each year this event grows as well. At this event members from all the departments gather along with friends and family from the various communities. People bring new, unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items and in return they are treated to a dinner buffet at the Mezza Luna. There is entertainment, Mr. and Mrs. Claus make an appearance and it’s a great family time.
Poirier has cultivated relationships with musicians across Cape Cod that donate their time year after year. The music has been a driving force for Bourne’s Homeless for the Holidays. They’ve played outside in all weather conditions; this year alone Bourne has lined up performances from over 18 different bands that will be performing at the Bay Motor Inn. The owners, Fred and Irene Carbone will graciously host Bourne’s event and have done so for the past 10 years.
CapeCodRadio.com provides four radio stations that are spread across the Cape at different “Homeless for the Holidays” locations. Matty B from PIXY 103 makes appearances and goes LIVE on the airways across all locations.