Red Wing group makes care packs for homeless

A special new outreach engaged participants at ProAct to help homeless individuals in Goodhue County.

“We have had the opportunity to reach out to our community in a special way,” said Gloria Solsaa, Case Coordinator at ProAct in Red Wing.

The enrichment class gathered $700 in donations, planned, purchased items and assembled 30 backpacks filled with helpful items. The group applied for “Action Team” project support through Thrivent Financial, which gave $250 for supplies to get the project going, as well as T-shirts.

Staff connected with the United Way to verify the need, said Solsaa, and for a suggested list of care package items. Class participants discussed which items to purchase and, with staff help, bought them at local stores. Personal hygiene items, as well as socks and other clothing were requested.

Letters about the project were sent home with participants and people responded with donations. Some sent products and others gave financially.

“Our staff and participants had fun packing the backpacks and delivering them to the United Way for distribution,” said Solsaa. The group made cards by hand to include with each bag to let recipients know they are important, she explained.

“This project gave us all the opportunity to talk about struggles people go through and how lucky we all are,” said Solsaa. “Overall, everyone felt this was a positive project and we are looking forward to setting up other service projects in the new year.”