Holiday Care Bags for the Homeless

The holidays are approaching fast and while many of us have family to be with and a safe & warm place to call home unfortunately there are people who are less fortunate. Philadelphia has 5,500+ individuals living on the streets, in cars, in abandon buildings, and in train/bus stations in addition to 12,000+ people in shelters. In addition to Christmas my family and I now look forward to the weekends in December because we get to do this amazing drive we started called Holiday Care Bags For The Homeless!

The first year that we started this drive my family and I put some money together and were able to make 50 Holiday Care Bags in December 2015! The following year we decided it would be a great idea to start a fundraising page to see how big this could grow and to no surprise it worked! December 2016 we had had amazing amount of support & donations and were able to triple the first year making 150 bags. Along with the bags we also gave out cheesesteaks as well thanks to Philips Steaks!

For our third our year, we are aiming to be able to make 200 bags and in addition to giving them out around Philadelphia we will also be donating bags to Veterans in need. We are willing to make and give out as many bags as we are able to afford to put together. This is where you come in!!!

Each decorative gift bag costs roughly $15 to make and will include a warm, fuzzy blanket, a pair of warm boot socks, a knit hat, gloves, a scarf, a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, deodorant, lots of snacks such as granola bars, crackers, cookies, fruit snacks & chips, and a Christmas card! In addition to all of that the Wawa Transportation Department is also donating for the second time this year, so each bag will also have a coupon for a free hoagie, breakfast sandwich, donut and a hot & cold beverage from Wawa! So for $15 you can keep someone warm and bring a little cheer to their holiday season.

We will personally be handing them out throughout the month of December all around Philadelphia. No donation is too small and every dollar is greatly appreciated and will help the less fortunate. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any donation you make. ALL proceeds will goto the Holiday Care Bags for the Homeless.

Merry Christmas and God Bless,

The Phelps Family

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Here is the story from how we started Holiday Care Bags For The Homeless!

In December 2015 my family and I had a great idea to make Holiday Care Bags. Everyone immediately got on board and put some money together, including extending family. We went to Dollar Store and bought things we thought someone might need. In the colorful holiday bags we put a winter hat, pair of gloves, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a bottle of water, cookies, candy, other small snacks and a handwritten note wishing them a Merry Christmas. The day came to take the bags to Center City and hand them out, there were about 8 of us and no one really knew what to expect. We walked around for a little while until we saw a man lying in an old church doorway, my Dad walked up to him, handed him a bag and said "Merry Christmas", the man looked up at him, took the bag and instantly smiled and replied "Thank you! God bless you." We continued to walk around the city and hand out bags but were still unsure if it was doing anything. Does it really help anyone? Do the people really care?

Then there were the last two bags...

We saw a man and woman coming down the sidewalk and he was literally holding her up. Thinking that they had been drinking we were a little scared but we walked up to the man say "Merry Christmas" and handed him a bag. We all walk away but stop at the corner to look back and see the couple looking in the bag and then the man hugged the woman with a tear coming down his face. He then wipes his eyes and takes her arm, we could see now that she could hardly walk because something is wrong with her legs. My parents have tears in their eyes, we all have tears in our eyes, I then run back to woman hand her the last bag and said "here's one for you too." We all watch the couple from afar hug and cry and then we all realize how much these bags can really mean to someone. We knew then at that moment that this is something we will do every year and are now on our third year!
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Sandi Phelps 
Philadelphia, PA
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