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October 14, 2013
PR Gem: Turning Old Buses Into Showers for the Homeless
 
Creativity works on a city street equipped with a fire hydrant as well as anywhere else. The catalyst, of course, is an idea. Doniece Sandoval, a San Francisco PR executive, had such an idea on behalf of the city's 3,400 homeless people, who don't have ready access to showers. (There are only 16 available at irregular hours.) Why not turn decommissioned city buses into showers and park them at homeless centers? And that, reports The San Francisco Chronicle, is what Doniece is championing.

She's got one bus on hand and three more available if the first one works out, the Chronicle reports. Doniece is calling the program, and the bus(es), Lava Mae. "Lavame means 'wash me' in Spanish, but she turned it into a girly-sounding name. ('Like Peggy Sue,' she said with a laugh.)" The program's first-year budget will be around $318,000 and Doniece is devoting herself to raising the funds — $58,000 is on hand so far. 

Now there's enterprise on behalf of the needy! "All" it takes is a creative idea and the grit to stay with it — public relations at its best. 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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