On any given night in Lucas County, more than 600 individuals are sleeping on the streets, in cars or in homeless shelters.
Although that number has slightly declined in recent years, the total number of homeless individuals never stable and is only reported to the state twice a year, as reported in data by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Manna Makers, a UToledo student organization, is working to help support homeless individuals in our community through the Manna Bags filled with basic necessities including food, water, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other toiletries. The bags are made for volunteers to take and give out when they pass a homeless individual.
“A few years ago, our founder realized that one of the reasons people don’t help those experiencing homelessness when passing them on the streets is because they don’t have money to give, or they don’t feel comfortable giving money,” said Jess Saki, president of Manna Makers. “She created Manna Makers in response to that.”
Manna Makers is hosting three opportunities for the UToledo community to help the organization collect goods for their Manna Bags, including donation bins around campus from mid-November until the end of the semester, sticker sales and a meeting to pack Manna Bags on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
Four donation bins will be located at Thompson Student Union, the Health and Human Services Building, Parks Tower and the Student Recreation Center. Any unused clothing, toiletries or food will be accepted.
The donations will be packed into Manna Bags during their next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m. in University Hall Room 4700. All are welcome to help and take a few bags to pass out to those in need. More information can be found on Manna Makers’ Invonet.
Manna Makers also is hosting a premade sticker sale. Stickers can be created for any individual or organization and premade designs are available. Sticker orders can be made by sending a message to the organization’s Instagram account, @MannaMakers_UT.
“We believe that by making these bags and giving them out we are able to empower those around us to make a difference in the community,” Saki said, “and improve the lives of those in need, even if it is just by a fraction.”