I was introduced to homelessness when I was 5 years old after taking a drive with my aunt to give out chili to some people living on the streets. There are over 550,000 homeless people America. Walking through the streets, the problem becomes obvious. Most people walk past the homeless or perhaps don’t even care to acknowledge the homeless. In fact, it can seem as though people do not realize that homeless people are people too. They deserve our help. While not all homeless people are sleeping outside, about 20% of them search for dry spaces to lay their heads on the street and the other 80% are drifters living from couch to couch with family members and friends.
After my first up close experience with the homeless, I could not understand why they were outside sleeping on the streets in the cold and in dirt with rats. From that point I knew that I wanted to help. My family helped me figure out how at the young age of 8 how I could assist. I decided to pass out blessing bags, filled with daily essentials, items that we have regularly that they don’t have such as soap, socks, tissue, hand sanitizer and more. I started my organization Project I Am to build awareness to homelessness.
Since starting Project I Am, the impact has been felt by over 40,000 across the world receiving Blessing Bags, coats, sleeping bags, shoes and mattresses—all of which have gone to people who are homeless and living on the streets or take residence at shelters. I have given out bags to those in need in Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Maryland, Virginia and Idaho. I have also provided Blessing Bags to orphans in Mbabane and Swaziland, as well as natural disaster survivors in Florida, Houston, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
Can you imagine not having a place to sleep at night? What if it was your friend, cousin, mom or dad? What if it were you? Why wait to be great? We can make an impact today.
I continue to do this because one day I hope to demolish homelessness. Right now, I work hard every day to assist with temporary relief. My favorite part is seeing the smiles on their faces when I give them the bag. They tell me "God Bless You" and it brings me joy.
Since COVID has disrupted our lives, I have had to pivot to continue to offer daily blessings to those in need. After doing multiple small packing parties at home, I figured out how to engage other kids without having to potentially endanger each other. I hosted the 1st ever virtual packing party in June where 40 young change makers from 28 cities from across the country participated in a Zoom call. We simultaneously packed 3,000 blessing bags for the homeless all over the US!
Because of the success of this event, I hope to host quarterly virtual packing parties and could really use your support with toiletry purchases for the Blessing Bags. We still have so much work to be done, so please consider supporting if you can!
Each bag costs approximately $10 to create. Every donation, no matter how big or small, is capable of making a change in the lives of others. I understand that not everyone may be in a position to help monetarily, so I would truly appreciate if you could share the campaign and help us spread the word about this important cause.
Thank you all for your support!
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