(C. Proxmire, Sept. 11, 2013, originally printed 8/5/2013, Issue 2136 – Between The Lines News)
The folks at MCC Detroit are about a quarter of the way to reaching their goal of giving 100 backpacks to youth at Ruth Ellis Center. The congregation works closely with REC all year round, collecting clothing and personal care items for young people who are homeless or at risk.
The backpack drive is one specific way the community can help. “Every year REC tells us what they need. Last year we did complete school supplies, but this year they wanted backpacks but with stuff they could live with,” said organizer Ann Cox. The list of items that ideally should go in the bags are: hand warmers, gloves, a winter hat, a small roll up blanket, two bottles of water, non-perishable food items like crackers or fruit snacks, and optional bus passes.
“It’s important that we support people who don’t come to our church. Part of our commitment is to our community. Some of these kids have been kicked out of their homes just because they are gay or transgender, and that’s not right. We should help them,” Cox said.
Last year over 170 youth came to Ruth Ellis for backpacks and school supplies, according to Jessie Fullenkep, director of the drop in center. She said that other needed items include plastic grocery bags, hygiene supplies, new underwear, bras, socks and undershirts, new or lightly used shower towels, laundry detergent and first aid supplies like band aids and antibiotic creams.
MCC accepts donations year round for Ruth Ellis Center, but they hope to collect 100 bags within the next few weeks. Drop off times are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The address is 2441 Pinecrest Dr. Ferndale and the number to call for more information is 248-399-7741.