LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — It’s an annual service in the City of Lynchburg, but this year, the impact is unprecedented.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department prepared hundreds of “blessing bags” with basic hygiene products for people experiencing homelessness.
The bags include things like, hand warmers, water, snacks, gloves, socks, personal hygiene and health items.
“Things that really help those who are sleeping outdoors,” said Sarah Quarantotto, Executive Director of Miriam’s House.
Parks and Rec have been assembling these bags for three years, and this year got by far the biggest community response.
“Last year’s goal was 100, and we made 106,” said Ronnie Tucker with the department. “Because of the state of the country this year, we really didn’t set a goal, but the community has really come out to help out, and we’ve collected 274 bags.”
“Honestly this donation is really significant,” said Quarantotto. “Probably for the next six to eight months, we’re going to have items to hand out to those who are unsheltered, which is really incredible.”
She credits the community for its constant support.
“I think what is so great about the work that we do is that every day, we get to see how involved the community is in the work of ending homelessness.”
They’ll distribute some of those bags later this month during the annual “Point in Time” count. It’s a process that every community in the country performs at the end of January to get a census of the homeless population and develop an understanding of local needs.