Last year, just 4 days before Christmas, I had the idea to give gift bags to the homeless. Within 3 days time, with the help of many of you, I was able to raise $1100 and make 60 bags! The bags contained soap, a razor, socks, tooth brush, tooth paste, kleenex, water, handmade turkey & cheese/ham & cheese sandwiches, and a $10 DD gift card. We also had female hygiene products if we saw a younger woman that was in need. Each bag came out to about $20 a bag.
I then went out Christmas Eve night around 3 in the morning with my brother and 4 friends to distribute the bags around NYC. As we started up 36th st I noticed someone laying in the entrance of a building, alone with no one else on the block. We pulled over and I got out with one bag in hand. As I got closer I saw that the person was hunched over, throwing up. I walked slowly up to him, knelt down, and asked, "are you okay?". He looked up, crying, and replied, "no". My heart broke. I said I have something for you, and showed him the bag. Through the tears and the not feeling well, he smiled and said thank you. I took the water out for him. I sat with him for a few minutes. I told him that I would come back to check up on him. As I walked away, I couldn't hold back the tears any longer, Just before I got into the car, he yelled Merry Christmas. I turned and said, Merry Christmas! I got into the car and cried hysterically. We continued to drive around stopping and handing out presents as we saw people. The last stop was at a church where there were over 30 people. We handed out every last bag with not one to spare and without a person in need. We had the exact number of bags. They opened the bags up right away, brushing their teeth, eating a sandwich, taking a drink of water. We stayed there for almost 10 minutes talking with everyone. As we left everyone was beyond appreciative. Thanking us countless times. The entire night was life changing. I visited Darien half a dozen times last winter. Bringing him a hot breakfast or coffee. Extra clothes and a blanket if it was going to be an extra cold night. NYC is filled with over 62k Homeless. All with different stories and backgrounds. And this is why I need your help. To help even just a few, for them to feel the love and compassion that we have for them. I understand that there is a different discussion to be had in regards to our veterans and how the country deals with people with mental health issues. But for one night. I'd like to make them feel as if they were just a part of our family.
You can donate whatever amount you'd like. No amount is too small and every dollar will go to use. I don't really know what else to say other than this is incredibly important to me. The reaction that we received last year by the people who received the bags on Christmas Eve night can't really be put into words. I Thank you for your time. If you can, please share this with your friends. Thank you! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and God Bless!