CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A local group of volunteers are working to provide backpacks with essential items to area homeless.
Residents who live at the Oxford House, a self-run and self-supported recovery house in downtown Charleston, started the program last week called “Backpacking Through Charleston,” with a goal to collect items needed for the homeless community.
One of the volunteers who launched the project, Audra, said she wanted a way to provide everyday items to those who truly need them.
“I was with my housemates leaving the store, preparing to cook a meal for our entire house, and a thought came to mind about where all of us started; what we have gone through and where we are now,” she said. “What a difference just a few months can make, especially in our Oxford House and sober community.”
Audra said she initially thought about giving out food, but through some prayer and reflection recalled her personal experience of being homeless. “What could I offer to someone every single day that could provide some sort of security, comfort, safety and the overall feeling that somebody cares about you,” she asked.
She continued, “you are not going through life on your own, and when you feel the struggle that life offers every day… I want people to know that we understand, and we are here to help.”
Now, Audra and a team of 10 volunteers are filling backpacks with sleeping bags, a small pillow, and a hygiene pack containing deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, a razor, small shaving cream, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a comb.
The packs will also have non-perishable food items and a COVID-19 safety pack with gloves, hand sanitizer, face masks, and a small lightweight
They are looking for donations to help them fill the backpacks. If you are able to provide any items, please reach out to BackpackingThroughCharleston@gmail.com or call 843-330-7406.