Group hands out backpacks to help with cold snap

January 15, 2013 12:59:44 PM PST
The cold snap is having a big impact on the already vulnerable homeless population. This morning, a South Bay group is offering a much-needed helping hand.

Sacred Heart just finished giving away backpacks to 100 homeless people who lined up here early this morning. This is a program that happens twice a month. The backpacks are filled with personal care items, but there's a special addition this time, fleece blankets -- an invaluable tool in the fight against this bitter cold.

Cheers of jubilation and appreciation are echoing through Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose this morning. One-hundred homeless people who've been suffering in the bitter cold over the last few nights have some salvation in these little backpacks.

"You know, it's been a cold winter this year. This bag is terrific and it's just what I've been thinking about," said backpack recipient Jerome Smith.

Sacred Heart dubbed them "survival sacks." They're filled with toiletries for men or women, underwear and socks for people of all sizes and flannel blankets -- a hot commodity in this cold weather.

"Things are hard nowadays. I am very grateful, they help us a lot with food and clothes and lots of things," said backpack recipient Jerry G.

This backpack giveaway happens twice a month -- on the 1st and 15th. Once someone receives one -- they're not eligible for three months. But this is just a fraction of what Sacred Heart does year-round. Their clothes closet serves 300-350 families every day. People can take five articles of clothing for every person in their family. An invaluable service provided by generous donors.

"It's just very, very important, especially for children that are growing so fast. You think of how expensive clothes are. We see too many kids with runny noses and light jackets on. We want to make sure everybody leave here warm," said Jay Picot, Sacred Heart Community Service.


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