By: Elena Lai Etcheverry, Charity Wings
The Charity Wings Art & Craft Center “Holiday Giving Campaign “is in full swing. It started six years ago as a simple sock drive for Interfaith Community Services. Last year, volunteers loaded up donations of 42 sleeping bags, 200 pairs of new socks, and 57 handmade scarves and passed them out to the homeless community in Downtown San Diego. The volunteers also took a trolley with 5 cases of Cup O’ Noodle Soups, hot chocolate and hot water dispensers because the year before there were many requests for food.
There are so many people who are sleeping on the sidewalk and they are all so grateful for the smallest of gifts. They only take what they need and are happy to share their story or just chat. There is a story behind each person and why they are in the situation they are in. says Jesse Traller, a long time Charity Wings volunteer.
Homelessness is not usually a choice. These people need our help and compassion. Being able to share a little warmth with them on a cold night in San Diego is a blessing to the giver and the receiver.
According to Voice of San Diego, a member-based news organization, Escondido has the second largest homeless community in the county, estimated at 546 people. So this year Charity Wings will be keeping it local and taking to the streets to find those sleeping outside in Grape Day Park and the surrounding area. If there are extra donations, they will make their way to Oceanside which also has a significant homeless population.
Sleeping bags, new socks and handmade scarves can be dropped off from now until December 23rd at the Charity Wings Art & Craft Center during regular business hours Tuesday-Saturday 10AM – 5PM, Sunday 12-5PM (closed Mondays).
The Center is located at 287 Industrial Street in San Marcos, across the street from Cal State San Marcos. Everyone is welcome to participate and monetary donations are gladly accepted to help purchase extra items.