We now have an Indiegogo campaign for this project at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/backpacks-for-the-homeless-in-chester-pa/x/8769163.

There are many in need. We hope to help those who don’t have any place to live. As the weather outside gets colder, this vulnerable population all over the US and the world needs to survive. We have partnered with Pastor William Barhorst of the Baskets of Faith Church and Missions, Inc., 2517 Lindsay Street, Chester, PA 19013, to work on this worthwhile project. Pastor Barhorst can be reached via email at pastorwilliambarhorst@yahoo.com or via phone 610-800-3923.

This project will fill backpacks for both women and men with items they need to help them survive on the street, especially during the upcoming winter season. This is a much needed humanitarian endeavor.

Basics:
Knit Wool caps
Smart wool socks
Gloves/mittens
Scarf
Bandanas
Washcloths
Space blankets
Dollar Stores have Rain Gear Ponchos for $1.00
Gideon Pocket Bible or Gospel of John, Psalms, Proverbs.
Toiletries, Health and Hygiene:
Multi-purpose wipes
Chapstick/ lip balm
Facial wipes
Moisturizer
Comb
Toothbrush and tooth paste
Dental floss
Grooming kit
hand sanitizer
handi-wipes
bar of soap (in ziplock)
tiny handsoaps (use once)
disposable razors
nail clippers
toilet paper
multivitamins
bandaids
gauze
The ladies would need feminine hygiene items like sanitary napkins and tampons, and even gift cards so they can purchase undergarments and their preference of sanitary items that they use instead of putting items in them that they can’t use.
Food and Drink:
Quality instant coffee
Tea
Energy drink
Beef jerky
Dried fruit/fruit rollups
Fruit leathers
Trail mix
Nuts
Granola bars
Protein powder packets
Restaurant gift cards
ramen
peanut butter
crackers
canned/cup fruit
Vienna sausages
sealed tuna/chicken salad
salt/pepper packets
Survival and Utility:
First aid kit
Water bottle with built-in filter
Heat-pack
Multi-purpose tool
Tiny flashlight
Glow sticks
Lighters/matches
String/thread
Rubber bands
Any kind of clips
Hand warmers
Tarps/liners
Ziplock/sandwich bags
Zip ties/wire twisties
Help them connect:
Journal and pen
Stationary
Stamps
Pre-paid phone card
Treats:
Chocolates
Fruit snacks
Cookie snack packs
Candy (individually wrapped)
Mints
Chewing gum
Splurge:
Starbucks, Walmart, Kmart gift card
Compact reusable bag

Pastor Barhorst has spoken to local shelters and soup kitchens and told them what we are doing. They are very excited about it. Pastor Barhorst will also be contacting other groups to help with even more backpacks because he knows that there is a huge need for them here throughout Delaware County Pa.

Backpacks will have to be purchased or obtained from local businesses who would donate them.

Helping Those Who Need It

We envision this project providing benefits to many.

New Avenue Foundation will provide opportunities for young adults and adults with disabilities in the first step of the project. There are many people with disabilities who don’t have a purpose in life once they exit the education system. They sit at home and don’t feel good about themselves. Our project will provide an opportunity for people with disabilities to work on a worthwhile project and feel self-worth. They will use their skills to purchase the backpacks and other items. They will then identify the items for each kind of backpack (whether for a man or woman) and place them in the backpack. This will give them a sense of accomplishment and feel valued.

The people Pastor Barhorst is helping will then accomplish the next step. The backpacks will be taken to Pastor Barhorst for distribution. He will provide the locations where people can benefit from our backpacks. He will use the people he serves to go out and distribute them. This will give his folks a feeling of accomplishment and value and giving back to the community.

Then, the final benefit will be for the homeless individuals who receive a backpack. The items can only help them have a little better opportunity to survive without a home and shelter.

Our Request

It has been estimated by the various references, that a backpack can be put together for $20 each. We would like to raise $1000 so that we can put together at least 50 backpacks. With your help and support, we can make and distribute these “Life Packs” to those who can really use them. We are not just looking for monetary donations. If you are a business that sells backpacks, your donation of backpacks would be greatly appreciated.

References

http://www.wimp.com/homelessbackpack/ – This video points out why this project is greatly needed and how we will create our backpacks to distribute.

http://www.occupylv.org/videos/20-homeless-backpack-care-kit – This is another reference from the Occupy Las Vegas group.

http://homesweetroad.com/blessing-bags-backpack-homeless-checklist/ – This is another great reference about the need and why it should be done. This site also has a checklist of items that should be in the backpack.

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