last year, my brother conrad died at the age of 38, and my family did not know for 3 months. he was a homeless man, who was diagnosed in his mid 30's with paranoid schizophrenia. he never drank, or did drugs, and was absolutely brilliant; but the nature of his mental illness prevented him from being able to function in what we would call "regular society". unfortunately, it also prevented him from seeking mental healthcare. my family reached out to him many times, trying to set him up with care and a permanent residence, but he was not able to see that as a viable option, and his communication with us was sporadic. this year, for the holidays, my sons and i have decided to make care packages for one of our local homeless shelters in his honor. we thought we would take 1 gallon bags, and fill them with small comforts that we all take for granted on a daily basis. toothbrushes, soap, shampoo and the like. we chose the eddy shelter in middletown, ct because it is close to us, and it is run by a small organization. (we call it our "mom & pop homeless shelter") our only request is that the guests there use the pre-stamped postcards provided to write family or friends that they haven't been in touch with. upon contacting the eddy shelter, we realized that we've bit off a bit more than we can chew. usually, a shelter has between 30-40 beds, but here, they expand in the cold months to provide for 70. and their needs included things we hadn't budgeted for, such as chemical hand warmers, warm gloves, socks and hats, sweatshirts and bus passes. for us to give most of what is needed, the cost per bag would be over $20. our friends and family have been amazing about donating toiletries and sweatshirts, bringing our out of pocket expense down to about $1200. i am humbly posting this to ask for assistance towards half of that amount. i know it's the holidays, and things are tight for people all around, so i would like to make it clear that i am not asking you to "dig deep", as it were. $1 is a stick of deodorant. $2 is a bus pass. $3 is a pair of insulated gloves... regular, everyday amenities for 70 people. we have high hopes of starting a non-profit in conrad's name by next year, but this year, we are relying on your generosity. if you are a person near the middletown area and you have items to donate, feel free to contact me via email and i will make arrangements to pick them up. we thank you for your love and support. -libby carrier [email redacted]
Well, everyone has been so amazingly supportive, we've decided to raise our goal. 100% of your donations will go towards gifts for Eddy Shelter, plus a minimum of $600 from our household. Thank you all so much!