Chesapeake woman collecting donations for homeless community


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — There are little things that can be taken for granted everyday, like a toothbrush or deodorant.

But for some, those things are not a given each day.

Now, there’s a Facebook group working to make sure people living on the street don’t go without the basics.

The group’s founder is calling them “blessing bags.”

The group’s name is BADDIE, which stands for Bold And Determined Diamonds Investing in Each other.

It’s a group for women, but founder Sarah Coleman thought it was time they start investing in their community as well.

Last year, Coleman and a friend got together with supplies and delivered them to the Salvation Army as donations.

This year, Coleman saw an opportunity to help more people after hearing the homeless population had grown. She said she even started seeing more children on the streets.

At one point, going without the basic necessities almost became Coleman’s reality, she said. Already, it’s the reality for hundreds in Hampton Roads.

Coleman hopes to gather enough supplies to make blessing bags and deliver them directly to the people they see who are homeless.

She wants to meet those living through homelessness and get to know their stories.

“Imagine just waking up one morning not having something as simple as a toothbrush,” Coleman said.

Coleman said she asked the group — which has about 7,000 female members mostly in Hampton Roads — where in their respective cities they see the largest homeless population.

Immediately, people named off locations on the Southside and on the Peninsula that needed help.

So, Coleman got to work collecting.

“We were asking in the group for donations of lotion, toothbrushes, like the little travel-sized deodorants, hand sanitizer, coats, jackets — you know, any form of clothing,” she said.

This is only a handful of what she hopes to collect.

“It’s very important because, like I said, they’re still a part of our community, so I feel like we owe them that. It’s so easy for one of us to go into Walmart, and they have the whole travel-size section where items are 97 cents,” she said.

Many women in her Facebook group already said they’ll help, but she hopes the entire community will show up to help make a difference.

“If we were out, especially with our children, our pets, we would want that,” she said.

The group is collecting items through Dec. 16. Donations can be dropped off at four different business locations:

  • Fly Girl Boutique, 880 Military Highway in Norfolk
  • KreatedbyK, 801 E. 26th Street in Norfolk
  • Inceptionz Barbershop, 166 S Rosemont Road in Virginia Beach
  • Allied Cash Advance, 1930 N Armistead Avenue in Hampton

Coleman hopes to deliver the items on Dec. 21.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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