120 care packages donated to local homeless
The Street Help Unit 7 organization received a donation of more than 100 backpacks Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, in Windsor, Ont. Laurie Mastronardi (C) and Cassandra Roy (R) of Kingsville, helped collect the backpacks, food and supplies that were donated to Christine Wilson Furlonger, administrator at the organization. Wilson Furlonger noted that the backpac ugg ks will be handed out immediately to homeless people in the area. The non profit organization is located in the 900 block of Wyandotte St. East. (DAN JANISSE/ The Windsor Star)Now an administrator for Street Help/Unit 7, she said she is always so happy when donations come in to serve the clients she now works with who are in the same position she once was.
She was overjoyed when Cassandra Roy and Laurie Mastronardi, both of Kingsville, donated 120 backpacks filled with basic necessities Monday.
“It’s like a gift to me because I remember being that homeles ugg s kid and it just excites me because I just sit there and I am overwhelmed with the amount of love and caring that people will do for each other in this community,” said Wilson. “Just knowing that there’s that many people that care for my folks, it touches me deeply.”
The two local women spent the past couple of weeks collecting money from the community to purchase the packs and contents, said Wilson.
The backpacks contain personal care items, hygiene products, blankets, hats, scarves, mittens and insulated mugs for hot beverages.
“We really needed it. You know, for ugg our people, that’s their house that they’re carrying on their back,” said Wilson. “Their whole world is in those backpacks, so it’s really an important thing for our people.”
Street Help/Unit 7 is “Windsor’s dedicated only to the homeless food bank,” said Wilson. She said it provides food, clothing and other services to up to 100 people a day.
Wilson said with the arriv ugg al of cold temperatures, the large donation came just in time to fill the current needs of local homeless. She said entering winter and the Christmas season, donations of sleeping bags start to pour in to help the homeless deal with the cold weather. The minimum number of sleeping bags the agency distributes each winter is 350, said Wilson.
“I wish that somebody had been able to give me a sleeping bag when I had been sleeping in doorways or on floors,” said Wilson, adding a sleeping bag not only helps battle the elements, but provides at least some level of comfort. “I challenge people if they ever could think it’s easy lay down on your floor and see if you could sleep the night in your heated home feeling any level of comfort. That’s pretty rough.”