October 10 was an amazing day for BACK@YOU and The Bridge Outreach! 50 volunteers started showing up at about 8:30 am to get ready for this event, and they were ready to give and overjoyed with what they received in return. Our volunteers worked hard giving personal care to each of our homeless neighbors as they picked out their scarf-adorned backpacks, had their names and emergency contact information written in the inside flap, and picked out warm hoodies from the wide array of sizes and colors. Within an hour, we had individually given out over 200 backpacks filled with essentials, and scarves handmade with love.
Everyone involved knew they were part of something special, but we found out that many others felt the same way. In the weeks preceding our distribution event, BACK@YOU received coverage in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and our Founder and President, Kathy Acre, was interviewed on local TV stations KPLR and FOX2 and on KTRS 550 AM radio. During the week of the event, the nationally syndicated Bobby Bones radio show gave us a shout out, and BACK@YOU was covered by the Good News Network and even appeared on CNN. They say good news and deeds travel fast, and they were right!
Our goal next year is to distribute 400 backpacks, each filled with essentials and, of course, a scarf handmade with love, and we are already working on that, full speed ahead! It has been a great year and together we have accomplished a lot, but we have a feeling next year will show us we ain’t see nothing yet!