Helping and healing hands

Two young adults are spending their time and money to reach the homeless in Anchorage and are hoping for others to become involved.

Danyelle Collins and James Stump, two working young adults, are hoping to make a difference in the community by creating and passing out bags full of essential supplies to homeless individuals in Anchorage. They have named their upcoming organization Healing Hands of Alaska.

The bags they’re creating contain items like notebooks, bibles, pens, protein bars, water, feminine products, resource cards to the suicide hotline and women’s shelter and more. Collins and Stump have used their own money to buy all the supplies to create 75 bags, as of publication. They estimated around having already spent $400 together for the supplies. They’re hoping to expand the bags to add more items like bus tokens and more hygiene items.

“Right now we’re just in the starting process of getting things ready and getting the bags made,” Stump, a sophomore journalism UAA student, said.

Collins said the idea of something like this sparked when she was a sophomore in high school but could never fulfill her idea. When Stump came in contact with Collins earlier this year, after knowing each other briefly in high school; Collins told Stump about her idea and Stump was on board.

“I’m really excited for this to get started and for people to help out and hear about it and maybe have people start to do better in the community,” Collins said.

The duo has been reaching out to friends, old classmates and churches for support and to get more youth involved in the process. Their organization may be small for now, but they have big plans for the future.

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“There’s not a ton of youth that [protest] on certain issues because it doesn’t really reach us, I feel, but it does affect us. Especially like gun-violence up here. So bringing a light to those situations would help and that’s what we’d like to do as well: help the community instead of just saying something’s wrong with it and then just sitting there not doing anything,” Collins said.

Collins and Stump did their first distribution in Anchorage last weekend and talked and prayed for those they were reaching. If interested in contributing supplies or helping pass out bags, contact Collins or Stump at [email protected] or [email protected]