Oklahoma Christian University first year Anna Hurst said it was 1:30 in the morning when she decided she was going to make a difference.
Hurst said she began to notice the homeless on the streets around Edmond, Oklahoma and Oklahoma City in October. After discussing the issue with fellow freshman Monica Hamrin, the two began planning a way to help those in need.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do but I’ve never had the means or people to do it with,” Hamrin said.
Starting on Jan. 25, Hurst and Hamrin set up bins around campus asking for donations: hats, gloves, socks or any other clothing for the homeless.
Hamrin said donations have poured in.
“Realizing how many people are helping and how many people have donated is just a crazy idea to me, because I thought it was just going to be two freshman girls,” Hamrin said.
So far, more than 400 articles of clothing have been collected.
“One girl brought twelve bags to Tinius and I started to cry, it has been so overwhelming with how many people have donated,” Hurst said. “Every day there’s something in one of the boxes.”
Hurst and Hamrin have asked for more volunteers, and so far a group of about a dozen students have signed up to help. On Feb. 13 Hurst, Hamrin – and any other volunteers – will drive downtown, seeking out those in need and delivering the care packages and clothing in person.
Any extra clothing afterwards will be donated to the Boulevard Church of Christ. The church’s organization, Hands and Feet, helps the homeless weekly by passing out 50 to 60 meals and donated clothing every Wednesday night.
“They weren’t 100 percent sure how they were going to do it, but they saw the need, and they saw a way they could do it, and we’re just helping them by delivering more of this clothing,” intern at Boulevard Church of Christ and Hands and Feet volunteer and sophomore Harold Eggar said.
Along with the clothing, Hurst and Hamrin have made 100 care packages, including a trail mix, paper towels, tissues, floss and a note card with a Bible verse or prayer written on it. They said they hope to pass these out with hot chocolate.
According to Eggar, members of Hands and Feet try to serve people not able to get into homeless shelters. He said the evening, after shelters have filled their quota for the day, is the best time to reach out.
According to Eggar, handing out donations in person provides for those in need, and gives them something a little more.
“It gives them a purpose in their life, we’ve seen a lot of these homeless people get out there and start looking for jobs and start looking for housing and I think a lot of it is just because there’s someone there caring for them, and someone that just talks to them and gives them hope,” Eggar said.
All volunteers passing out clothing are invited to attend a devotional on Feb. 11, located in Gunn-Henderson’s private lobby.
“The purpose of that is to get their hearts in the right place,” Hurst said.
She said her ultimate goal is to serve.
“I like to see Oklahoma Christian students taking initiative and not necessarily having to be prompted by a church or any other organization to do something, but when they see the need they’re really eager to just go out and help,” Eggar said.
The project ends on Feb. 12. Bins are set up at residence halls Tinius, Davisson, Gunn-Henderson, Warlick, Fails and University House, nearby the cafeteria and by the Student Life Office.