SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A group in Spartanburg spent their Christmas Day giving back by making sure our homeless community is prepared for cold weather and any obstacles that may come their way.
It’s no secret Spartanburg has a high population of homeless people and, unfortunately, that doesn’t change on Christmas.
“I wish I was at home with my family,” homeless woman Sandra Ross said.
Brandon Hammett used to be homeless as well and said he knows what it’s like.
“Christmas Day, a guy pulled up and gave me a hygiene bag, and he told me that he loved me and that God loved me,” he said.
Hammett told 7 News that random act of kindness changed his life.
“I really wanted to try and give other people that good feeling,” he said.
That’s why he and several other community members came together and handed out more than 100 hygiene kits to the homeless this Christmas.
“I like to stay clean and, being out here, it’s not easy,” Ross said.
They also gave away food and cold weather bags, which included blankets, scarves, toboggans, and socks among other things.
But one of the most interesting items the group was distributing was NARCAN.
“It’s given to heroin addicts, opioid addicts,” community member Jeni Nichols said. “It reverses the overdose and stretches their time until EMS arrives.”
Nichols said addiction is one of the biggest obstacles homeless people face, and she wants them to know they’re not alone.
“We were all born as God’s children and every life matters,” she said. “Make everybody feel wanted and needed. They are.”
Hammett said he hopes their actions will lead to something bigger.
“Because I’ve been there, I’ve got a lot of faith that they can get out of it and they can be out here, trying to help others,” Hammett said.
This year was the first year the group of community members handed out the cold weather bags, but they told 7 News they plan to do it every year from now on and possibly several times a year.
The group gave away most of the bags they’d pack in the span of just three hours. They said anything that’s left over will be donated to the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen.