Helping the homeless get through winter with some warmth, that was the goal of “House the Homeless" volunteers who helped winterize several hundred people in Austin.
Sherry Sampson was just one of the hundred volunteers gathered at the First Baptist Church that helped to bring warmth both physically and emotionally to those facing cold times, “We are giving out thermal underwear to keep them warm laughs, every year this is the section that we work in. We meet them as them come in, we see their name tags, we call them by their name to make it personal for them,” she said.
Every year "House the Homeless" holds it's "Thermal Underwear Giveaway Party." Richard Troxell is the founder and president of the organization and he's been on a mission to end homelessness since the 1980s. While he can't get a roof over everyone's heads, he at least wants to get them clothed to help make it through winter. “Not everybody is going to get housed for the winter, and they are all vulnerable, so we are trying to save lives here,” he said.
The organization is based on community donations and helps an estimated 600 people get thermal tops and bottoms, scarves, hats, gloves, ponchos, safety whistles and much more. Something Troxell said many are very grateful for, “We're here to protect them and they get that sentiment somebody cares and that's a big deal, that's a big deal when people won't even look at you on the sidewalk,” he said.
On top of getting their cold weather clothing, people got to enjoy something else they don't usually get to, live music, and a hot meal.
Sampson said any volunteering opportunity she gets, she takes, and “When I get here I am joyous. I am just bubbling over because I love it in my heart, I love to do it. Anytime that we can help and give back to those that can't give back to it's a wonder, it's a joy,” she said.