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PHOENIX — Every little bit counts. That’s the thinking behind how a group of Scottsdale ladies have been giving out compassion bags to the homeless.
In nearly every room of Leona Voltz’s Scottsdale home, she’s stocked up with stuff. Bedrooms are filled with pallets of drinks and non-perishable goods. Other rooms house clothing and stacked boxes of used goods.
She may be running out of room to put it all but as it comes to her door – she knows exactly what do to with it. Every week of the year, Leona and a versatile group of friends make up a group called Homeless Matters.
They come to Leona’s home and build what’s called compassion bags. “We put two pairs of socks, a long pair and short pair,” said Leona while listing the stuff that goes in the bags.
The goal is 120 thoughtfully put-together bags every Monday.
The bags are given to various Valley homeless organizations to bring to those who need them most. They start with socks and include hygiene products, food, drinks, sunscreen even clothes and prayer sheets. At over 6,200 hundred bags a year, you can understand how it may be overwhelming to organize it all.
“I have two more rooms to show you,” said Leona sharing all the supplies she has. The compassion shown here, all derives from another labor of love. Handmade mats for the homeless, thus the name of the organization, ‘Homeless (Mat)ters.’ Crocheted from cut-up and twisted plastic grocery bags, each mat takes nine hours or longer to make.
“Have you gone out and laid down on the ground without a mat?” said Leona. Part of Homeless Matters generosity is to find use for everything that comes through her door. Like the pillows given away are sewn and stuffed with shirts or cloth placemats.
She finds that everything once used – can see new life. ”Don’t throw away your tennis shoes, I’ll wash them,” she said. Leona says 90% of the stuff she uses to help the homeless – is just donated directly to her. ”It just comes through the door sometimes, you just don’t know where it’s coming from,” she said smiling with a shrug.
There’s a lot of detail and logistics involved in this operation, but Leona says the key driver for all this work is pretty simple. “It just felt like the right thing to do,” Leona is hoping to partner with another organization to find a warehouse to move her goods to help the homeless community at an even greater scale.
Learn more how you can support her mission here: Homeless MATters