Trinity students could use some help to feed, clothe the homeless
Lauren Barry, a junior at Trinity and member of the National Honor Society, says she wanted to do something to help, after seeing so many people apparently homeless and begging on city streets. She talked it over with her dad, Alderman Bill Barry, and together they came up with something simple: Feed the hungry and clothe the poor.
The students have planned a luncheon for Dec. 23 at Families in Transition – New Horizons/New Horizons soup kitchen for anyone who’d like a warm meal, at which time Lauren and her friends will distribute all the donated items they’ve collected.
The effort got off to a strong start on Monday at Infinity Car Wash on Second Street where owner Michael Balboni pitched in by offering a free car wash to anyone who dropped off a donation of new gloves, hats, hand warmers or socks. By the end of the day, more than 100 items had been donated, and Balboni decided to extend the car wash deal through Thursday.
Lauren said she was mostly inspired by the season of giving.
“I had volunteered with my dad at New Horizons before, so I knew the feeling of giving, and wanted to do something more,” Lauren said. “I think if people just put any effort into trying to help the situation in our city, they can make things better, and hopefully the homeless problem will be gone. They need all the help they can get.”
Trinity student and fellow fundraiser Greg Fallon said he things finding homes for the homeless would be a good place to start.
“It’s hard to get a job without a home, or clothes. Probably a good place to start is with safe housing first,” Fallon said.
Mohammad Mobeen, owner of Budget Gas on South Willow Street, heard about the fundraiser and stopped by with a generous cash donation to be used toward whatever is needed.
He says he was encouraged by the students’ gesture of kindness.
“It’s holiday time and our young generation is tomorrow’s leaders. We need to produce good leaders that have empathy and sympathy for the less fortunate. I wish I was doing more. Anytime I see kids doing something like this, I want to encourage them,” Mobeen said.
Having lived in the city for 32 years, Mobeen says he’s seen a shift over the past two years in the number of visibly needy people.
“We can’t let our fellow human beings live in the harsh winter outside. I feel the city has to do something — make an ordinance, come up with some kind of resources, tap into some of the influential people in our city to find a way to help those in need, ” Mobeen said.
Trinity students talk about their fundraiser in the video below:
Donations for the clothes drive can be dropped off at Central Fire Station, or you can stop by Infinity Car Wash through Dec. 6.