Friday, December 16th was The Bridge of Compassion Foundation’s third annual Project Winter Warm-up, and I must say that it was a success.  This year we did more than just coats.  We packaged together socks, under ware, hats, scarves, gloves and a personal sized blanket in a backpack which we distributed with the coats.  We had over 100 backpacks and coats and we were able to distribute nearly all of them.

After having some time to think about this years project, I have to say that from an emotional standpoint, it felt heavier.  I felt like there were more people in need this year and I attribute that to the closing of the shelter at Pine St.  We have a particular bridge that we go to first, because that is where this project and subsequently  the non-profit were born.  Last year there were about 8 people under that bridge and this year there were over 30 people there.  It’s hard to see that kind of change in just a years time and really shows the impact that one shelter can make.

It’s so much more than just handing out coats and backpacks to people in need.  We do our best to make contact with them and make a connection of some sort.  We have conversations with our fellow humans and we are compassionate towards those who are less fortunate.  The image above brought it all home for me.  It shows exactly what we do.  Larry listens to the man tell his story about how he got to where he is on the street.  It’s so much more meaningful to have a connection and a conversation than just handing out coats and backpacks.

Contact, Connection, Compassion, it’s what we all need no matter what our situation is.



Volunteers at Tiger Rock Martial Arts in Woodstock Ga. are sorting out donations so they may be packaged in backpacks for distirbution.
Volunteers at Tiger Rock Martial Arts in Woodstock Ga. are sorting out donations so they may be packaged in backpacks for distirbution.
Our volunteer Heather and her son Jarred help sort and package new socks and underware for distribution.
After sorting the smaller items, they are placed in backbackpacks for distribution and labeled by size and gender.
Our Director, Larry Flaxman, at right, along with board member Jason Brown (center) and volunteer Shawn Cooper. prepare backpacks for distribution.
Our first stop of the night. This bridge is where it all began several years ago and has since then, been our first stop of the night. Last year we found about 8 to 10 people here that needed help, this year, with the closing of the shelter on Pine St., we encountered just over 30 people.
Here, we are distributing backpacks and making sure everyone gets the size coat they need along with a backpack with the correct size socks and underware.
A new coat, fresh socks and an extra blanket make a huge differance for this man.
Board members Sherry Davenport and Jason Brown help this lady find the right size coat.
Some of the people we helped under the bridge.
This fellow was very thankful and gracious for his new items.
Sherry, checks on a couple to make sure they have had a chance to get what they need.
It’s more than handing out items, it’s about connecting and being human and treating others with dignity.
Volunteers Nick, Shawn, Jarred, Heather waiting to handout backpacks and coats.
Larry checking on a couple bundled up against the cold.


Contact, Connection, Compassion.