Groups team up to make care packages for homeless

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COLUMBIA - Groups that help the homeless are teaming up to distribute care packages around Columbia.

Sylvia Sprinkle of Missouri Pay It Forward said the idea came about because of the high number of homeless people in the community.

"It seems like I've seen more this year than I have the last 15," Sprinkle said. "And I go to Wilkes Boulevard Church, we have ‘em come in there all the time, but there's more than that, that come into my office on a daily basis just to get a toothpaste, toothbrush and stuff like that."

Missouri Pay It Forward will join with Cocooning Pay It Forward, Project Homelessness and other small groups to make care packages consisting of daily necessities.

"Canned food, conditioner, tooth brush, toothpaste, deodorant, just whatever..." Sprinkle said.

Volunteer Melissa Rubio-Hernandez said it's important to them to help the homeless at this time because of the heat.

"They are without anything and right now with the summer heat being so hot, we wanna be able to make sure we can provide for them and, that'll help better the community as well," Rubio-Hernandez said.

Rubio-Hernandez held a yard sale Saturday and Sunday in order to raise money to buy items.

Leftover items from the yard sale will also be given to the homeless.

Sprinkle said they wanted to work as one united group to make sure they have enough volunteers and donations to reach every homeless person in the area.

"It's all about community," Sprinkle said. "Everybody needs to work together to make sure everybody has the basic needs, and that's what we're doing."

The groups are meeting Tuesday at Cosmo Park to work on care packages. Sprinkle said she plans to put signs up in the park and around nearby streets to notify community members to join.

The care packages will be distributed through July 31st as part of "Project Homelessness."