I feel so blessed to have grown up in the life that I was born into. And now, I feel like it’s time for me to help others who haven’t been as blessed. From college athletics to working crazy hours, I never felt like I had the time to volunteer. But I’ve always felt the nudge, and now I can’t ignore it any longer.

Recently, I visited an Urban Ministries center where homeless people can go for shelter and food. Let me tell ya, it was quite the culture shock. I realized at that point that I was raised in a bubble—I would hear about, but not truly see, the poverty and hunger that riddles this earth. That moment opened my eyes, and I feel inspired to help those who aren’t as blessed as I am.

My service is called “Give-a-Tote”, where I put together drawstring tote bags filled with necessities for the homeless. I got this idea after passing a homeless old man multiple times on my way to church on Sundays. I always thought, what can I possibly do to help this man, besides giving money? After doing some research online, I made a list of items that the homeless most need.  I no longer feel like it's okay to hurry by these humans without giving a second thought. Aren’t these the very people that Jesus would have spent the most time with?

Yes, the easy way out is for us to say, well why don’t these people stop sitting around and get a job. Sure, there are people out there who should get a job instead of beg on the streets. But let me tell you, the majority of homelessness is greater than plain laziness, it’s a mental illness and an inability to navigate through our culture.

I bought the items for my first tote to give to the homeless man that sits outside my church. However, instead of helping just one man, I want to help 20, 50, 100 people who suffer from homelessness and an inability to clothe, feed, and take care of themselves. Because of this, I need your help.

Some items that I got for my first tote were toothpaste, toothbrush, underwear, socks (apparently a huge need in the homeless community), anti-fungal cream (many of the homeless are likely to have athlete’s foot) soft healthy snacks, multivitamins, bandaids, razors for shaving, reusable water bottle, mini umbrella, notepad, and pens.

Help me help the homeless in the Charlotte community. If you want your donation to go toward any items in particular, let me know and I will make it happen. Let’s make a difference in this world!


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Carolyn Albright 
Charlotte, NC
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