Meet the Norwich woman handing out festive packs to the homeless
- Credit: Archant
'The whole room was overflowing with boxes and I couldn't move. The bin man must have thought I was crazy.'
This was the state of Danielle Garner's Thorpe St Andrew living room following the overwhelming reaction to an appeal reported in this paper for donations for survival packs to give out to homeless people in Norfolk.
Over 50 people responded to the call and, along with monetary donations ranging from £10 to £50, Ms Garner also received five hand-knitted hats sent to her workplace Outfit in Riverside in Norwich.
She has now made up 100 survival packs which include gloves, socks, tins of beans, toothbrushes, baby wipes, a chocolate box and crisps.
The 28-year-old said: "It was amazing to think that people can pull together and do something good. It was really emotional and just reaffirmed my faith in humanity."
Now Ms Garner has begun handing out the survival packs to homeless people in Norwich and Great Yarmouth.
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In just four hours on Saturday, Ms Garner and her friend Samantha Allard, 28, handed out 10 packs in Great Yarmouth and 21 packs in Norwich.
Ms Garner said all the homeless people were surprised to receive the packs but could not hide huge grins.
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She added: "It was lovely to see them smile. I had people hugging me and holding my hand - it was so emotional. I even had one lady chase me through a car park so she could say thank you and give me a big cuddle."
Ms Garner was also struck by the stories of the homeless people she met.
She added: "In Norwich I met a man and a woman who said they had something to show me in their sleeping bag. I wasn't sure what to expect, but they delved into a bag a whipped out a rat. They told me it was their pet. It was just heartbreaking as they were both so lonely that they got a rat as company.
"It just made me realise what I have. It was freezing cold when I did it too, so I can't imagine how tough it must be. When I got back home I was crying. It was a very emotional night."
In the future she plans to hand out at least ten packs every December.
To help with survival packs email firstname.lastname@example.org