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Friday, February 2

Blessing Bags Helping Homeless in Roanoke VA

Hi friends!

As the month of February has come, 2018 has not slowed our little program down much in the way of helping others here.

Ariel, a Roanoke College graduate recently reached out to our small non-profit in hopes that we could help a homeless man Karrit and his dog Gür. Since Thanksgiving they have been living in the van as they made their way from Mississippi here to visit family in the Roanoke area. 

After a long stay, he started to head back only to find out the van had issues running. Back in December, he had a kind couple offer to help fix the van so he could get back to work and be on his merry way. 

Well, as life tends to happen sometimes, the van took a turn for the worse and working day jobs at the temp agency wasn't going to cut it anymore. The van stopped running. 

Since Karrit and the pup lived in the van, running it was a source of heat during the cold snap we had last month and in the evenings. 

After Ariel asked me to help, our program put together a Go Fund Me in order to help him out. After raising more than $700, we turned to help by posting on social media and asking people to help with no just costs but repairs to the van. 

We had three people pay for him to stay in a motel near the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, all whom wanted to remain remain anonymous. At $50 a night the three citizens helped pay roughly $350 for him to stay there.

During this time I met up with Karrit to deliver the first round of funding that came through from Go Fund Me. Talk about an awesome and humble guy here. I was happy to give him some lunch from Hardee's and a $300 gift card, 1st of two.

After meeting with him for about 25 minutes I had to get back to work (I do work full time) and continued my search for help with regards to the van repairs here.

Well, today after reaching out to a few people, Pat Janney, a local mechanic was able to meet up with Karrit today and they got the van up and running after purchasing a part for the van.

Karrit left and Pat Janney right after they fixed the van. 
After confirming this, we're happy to announce the van is repaired, Karrit and Gur have one more night in the motel and they will be on their way back to Mississippi later this weekend!

Together, with the help of Ariel, Pat and many others whom wish to remain silent, were able to help get him off the streets for a few days, repair his van and even have some funding to help cover fuel, food and other needed things along the way.

Our organizations mission is to "Help People Grow" and sometimes that means a little more than Blessing Bag from time to time. While some people only had discouraging words to offer, the few that helped out with their actions shows that there are STILL great people in and around the Roanoke Valley!

We will continue to keep the GFM page up and running for a couple more days and we'll keep in touch with Karrit to make sure they get back to their home. 

Is the director of the Blessing Bag Program which started in 2016. From personally funding the program to becoming a small non-profit, Joshua not only oversee's the making of the bags ,but works with others in the community to make sure they get into the hands of the homeless and needy. Joshua runs the program in his spare time when not working fulltime.

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