We were blessed with hundreds of items including shampoo and conditioner, lotions, body wash, toothpaste, and make-up kits for our Residents before Easter. This is the second year we have received this generosity from the Bracken family and their third year doing the Homeless Support Project at Gallagher Hall on Xavier University’s campus. Chuck Bracken, the father, is the leader behind the program but his wife and children come together to all form a group of giving heroes. Read more about their story below:
I retired 2 years ago and have committed myself to helping the Homeless. I shop using a heavy couponing strategy and store the goods in my home until it is time for the next Xavier Saturday event. Friday night we have a number of friends with large vehicles come to the house for a loading and beer fest. The following morning they come to Xavier where students help unload and quickly begin the production process of bagging all the product and populating the designated areas for the different shelters with these donations. I teamed up with Xavier University when my son left the house to attend the university and left me with all the lifting.
This event provides comfort and cleanliness items that are otherwise difficult for the homeless to receive since toiletries/cleanliness products cannot be purchased with food stamps. Currently we donate to (11) Homeless Shelters and other giving providers. Bethany House, Shelter House, Lighthouse, Little Sisters of the Poor, Interfaith in Cincinnati and Lebanon, Hope House in Middletown, Haven House, Jewish Services, Matthew Ministries and some other smaller local shelters.
As I mentioned I use an extreme couponing strategy that will allow some modest investments to go a rather long way in supporting the people that need our help. We have 3 production lines setup at Gallagher Hall that creates 1,200 Brack/Xavier packs that include full-size products of Shampoo/Conditioner, Body Wash, Toothpaste, Tooth Brush, Deodorant and a Razor. We also donate a great deal of paper, cleaning products, make-up kits, detergent, etc.
We have designated areas for each of the 11 shelters and organizations. We typically have about 25 students that help in this project. This is a major Xavier community day with multiple projects throughout the city.