SYRACUSE — A few years ago Terrance Egolf saw several homeless people on the streets of Elkhart and South Bend. Some were sleeping on cardboard boxes under bridges in even colder weather.
But rather than just shake his head and say “how terrible,” Terrance, now a junior student at Wawasee High School, decided to actually do something about it. Mostly on his own, he organized a drive to aid the homeless held in November 2017 at Brook Pointe Inn in Syracuse. A second drive was held in September 2018 at Rock Church in Cromwell and a third drive is planned for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Syracuse Community Center, 1013 N. Long Drive.
“God put it on my heart,” to help the homeless, Terrance said. His mother, Angie Tuttle, remembers him saying after he saw the homeless, “Mom, I’ve got to do something to help them.”
A good response was received to the first two homeless drives including some people coming from as far away as Michigan. One of the drives was also publicized on WNDU-TV and Terrance was interviewed by a reporter.
He talked to Michiana Five for the Homeless, a South Bend organization, to get advice on how to organize a homeless drive.
Terrance, who works part-time at the front desk at Oakwood in Syracuse, plans to study hospitality in college and learn about food service management. “I eventually would like to open a soup kitchen or shelter,” he said.
On a personal level, he said doing the drives “has opened my heart more” toward the homeless. Terrance is involved in both Grace Community Church and Restore Church, each of which are located in Goshen.
May 11 Homeless Drive
During the May 11 homeless drive at the Syracuse Community Center, items to be accepted include new or gently used blankets, tents, gloves, scarves, hats, coats, hot hands, non-perishable food items, toiletries, clothing, shoes and toys for children. Monetary donations will be accepted and used to buy more items. Terrance will make and provide snacks during the drive.
He noted during the previous two drives, beef jerky sticks were especially popular.
Index cards will be provided for people to write encouraging messages. Those cards will then be put with the bags or boxes provided to the homeless.
Donations will be split evenly between Fellowship Missions in Warsaw and Faith Mission in Elkhart.
There is also a Facebook events page under “Bless the Homeless” with additional information.