Local women creating “blessings bags” for homeless

Local women creating “blessings bags” for homeless

As the weather gets colder, 2 local residents are thinking about the homeless, and what they can do to help them. They started a project to help get them items they need.

In between serving customers, Lindsey Hoke and Heather Wright decided to give back to the community. They’re putting together “blessings bags”.

“To hand out to the homeless or less fortunate people that are walking around on the streets. Just things like gloves, necessities, toothpaste, toothbrushes, socks, hand warmers,” says Hoke.

“Our sole goal is to help anybody in need, bring comfort to them and possibly bring the community together,” adds Wright.

In just 1 week, $130 bought enough goods to fill the pool table at the bar and will help fill dozens of bags. The cause has been close to Wright’s heart since she was a teenager.

“I know what it’s like to be out there and feel the harshness of society,” says Wright.

Homelessness is a problem in Joplin; the women see it every day driving on Main Street. The shelters do what they can to help people get by but some remain without shelter.

“It’s just nice having someone helping out to spread it around more,” says Jan Burres, the shelter director at Souls Harbor.

For many people on the streets, they say it’s the little things that help them the most.

“Being on the streets is hard enough as it is. Any little thing helps; it kind of makes you feel human,” says John Richardson, who is currently staying at Souls Harbor.

The women think they’ll be able to bring that feeling to many people.

“It’s kind of taken off. We just thought we’d collect a few hundred dollars and make a couple bags and we think we’ll be able to make a lot more than that,” says Hoke.

And they hope their project encourages others to give what they can to help those less fortunate.

“I would feel a lot better if everybody did it. It makes me feel good that i can make a difference in somebody’s life. I want to see people smile and laugh and feel good if just for a moment,” says Wright.

The women are working on getting donation cans in local businesses. Items can be brought to Sideline Sports Bar on Main Street in Joplin. To donate money to help buy items, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/e3623epc