Seven hundred homeless individuals will die from hypothermia this winter. This is why Black Hawk College’s social sciences club, “The League of Social Scientists,” chose to host an event to try and help those out on the street keep warm this winter, and have access to some small every-day necessities.
On November 21, students who are a part of the League and some who are not, came together to assemble “blessing bags.” The students and many faculty of Black Hawk donated small everyday goods to the event. These goods included toothbrushes, bars of soap, socks, gloves etc. The items that were donated were laid out on a table in organized piles. Each volunteer would line up and fill a large plastic zipper bag with assorted items. The finished bags were lined up on a separate table and more volunteers evenly distributed gloves, hats, and socks, trying to ensure that anyone who received a bag would be provided with at least one of these items. At the end, when everything was neatly bagged and distributed, there were about fifty blessing bags. Three bags were then given to each volunteer to keep in their cars. The bags are to be passed out whenever a homeless person asks for help. Even the smallest act of goodwill can help a homeless person immensely during the winter months.
Professors Bergo-Brown, Morrison and Horner-Brackett, the advisors of the League, were impressed by the turnout of student volunteers and the amount of donations that were received for the event. So many people are affected by homelessness and/or hunger in the United States that bringing awareness to the problem will hopefully lead to more understanding of the causes of these problems. It is important to understand that anyone can end up without a home.
Here are some statistics about the American homeless population:
- There are approximately 50,000 homeless veterans in the United States today
- The average age of the homeless population is nine years old, 1/3 of this population are children.
- 31,000,000 Americans are living in hunger or on the edge of hunger.
- Approximately 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness during the year.
As can be seen through these numbers and through experiences walking anywhere in a larger city, homelessness is not a problem that can be ignored. Instead, the blessing bags will give volunteers a chance to brighten someone’s day and make their winter a bit more bearable. Taking part in small events like this can help those in need have access to everyday necessities and help those who volunteer understand the problem.