MEDFORD, Ore. — A small group of community members is helping the homeless and less fortunate in southern Oregon. Giving Back in Southern Oregon got its start on Facebook at the beginning of the year, and since then has helped close to 500 people.
Every month the group gathers supplies ranging from toothpaste and toiletries to water and snacks, and they take them to Hawthorne Park where they hand out them out to the homeless. The founder of the program, Trish Johnson, said she got the idea during Christmas. She wanted to give back to the community so she created a Facebook page and started collecting donations.
The program started out in the garage of her house, but it grew to the point where Johnson had no other choice. She had to move it into a storage unit. Johnson said the homeless people who accept the donations are grateful.
“They just swarmed us… like we were giving away money, and it was more to them than money… it was giving them something to help them out a little bit,” said Johnson.
Without the donations, some homeless said they would have to resort to dumpster diving because their food stamps do not cover all of their needs. Giving Back in Southern Oregon not only helps the homeless, but they also help any family in need. To contact the program, go to their Facebook page.
The program said it plans on becoming a non-profit organization sometime in the next few months.