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The popular social media site Pinterest is known for sharing and sparking ideas on just about any subject, including DIY projects, wedding planning, fashion and decorating.
For Parker girl Emily Huber, 12, a visit to the site inspired her to do something to help the less fortunate. Emily, who attends Sagewood Middle School, started a campaign to gather essential supplies for homeless people along the Front Range, and her efforts have paid off more than she imagined.
“I was on Pinterest and I had heard about other people putting gift bags together with shampoo, soap and toothbrushes and stuff,” said Emily. “I wanted to do something to help them.”
Emily said she began searching her own home for items to donate, and quickly realized that if she had stuff lying around the house, other people probably did as well. And since the idea was sparked through social media, she decided to use social media to ask for help.
“I asked my mom if I could use her social media accounts to ask for donations. We put a request up on the Nextdoor site, and people just started bringing stuff and asking us to come pick stuff up,” said Emily.
Her request was seen by neighbors, and a teacher at her school saw it as well. Before long, Emily said they would return home to find piles of donated items on their front porch.
Emily's mom Lisa Huber, said she was surprised by Emily's decision to make bags for the homeless.
“Usually she's on Pinterest looking for craft ideas,” said Huber. “This day, she announced she was making homeless kits. We've done some volunteer work as a family, but she said she wanted to do something and get involved in her own way this year.”
To date Emily has gathered more than 250 snack items, and hundreds of single-size shampoos, toothpaste and personal hygiene items. She plans to continue gathering items through the holiday season, and will present the bags to homeless people in February or March through the Church in the City organization. She has also reached out to her dentist and local businesses for donations, and has received some cash donations, which she will use to buy more items for the bags.
“I think through the holidays people take good care of the homeless,” said Emily. “But after the holidays, and when it gets really cold, people forget about them. I want to give them something they can use when everything else is gone.”
Items needed include individual-sized tissues, soaps, deodorant, snack items, combs, razors and sweets. A pickup of donated items can be arranged by calling Huber at 303-725-0163.
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