Ashlee Youngblood is a senior at JMU. After a trip to DC, She discovered the unfortunate reality of the homeless population there. Ashlee came across a homeless camp where “a ton of people were in tents” and “trash was overflowing.” While in quarantine, Ashlee wanted to give back to people in need. This memory is what gave her the idea to create blessing bags. She said that a blessing bag is “a ton of...necessities inside a bag that’s reusable.” Some of the items included in the blessing bags were socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, food, and feminine hygiene products. She said that CO-VID19 made the lives of the homeless population harder. They already did not have access to necessities, but the virus that has plagued our world made that even more difficult. Ashlee said that many homeless shelters were reaching capacity due to COVID-19 guidelines. Youngblood’s project gained traction through social media, and many people donated online to help her reach her fundraising goal. This experience really opened her eyes to the less fortunate people in her community. She said she gained a new perspective in seeing these people’s living situations. She hopes to continue her mission in Harrisonburg and she plans on handing out her blessing bags in the next couple of weeks.
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