EATON — Jordyn Duncan, a nine-year-old William Bruce Elementary School student, donated $20 and eight bags full of winter clothing, toothpaste, deodorant, and other hygiene-related products to the Preble County Cold Shelter on Wednesday.
“She elected to have her party guests bring supplies for the homeless rather than birthday presents,” Program and Grants Management Coordinator Lindsay Watson said. The Cold Shelter, a volunteer-led outreach program that provides protection from the elements, food and personal supplies to homeless residents of Preble County during the harsh winter months, is operated by local nonprofit Home Is The Foundation.
Duncan, who turned nine on Saturday, Oct. 3, sent out the call for donations in the form of party invitations and Facebook invites.
“I wanted to help people,” Jordyn said of her motivations for the donation.
Jordyn’s older sister, Ava, has been donating birthday gifts to The HIT Foundation for the past two years. Last year, the family donated winter coats; the year before, blankets.
“Jordyn came to me this year and said, ‘I’d like to help people too, Mommy,’” Angela Duncan said.
Founded in 2003, The HIT Foundation owns and operates about 60 affordable rental properties in Preble County, according to Executive Director Clayton Genth, as well as offering a home repair program for senior citizens and an emergency homeless shelter consisting of 10 beds.
Genth described the cold shelter as an overflow for when there are more than 10 people in Preble County having a housing crisis.
“It allows us to help them more in-depth,” he said.
The foundation also offers services to help residents look for jobs or get treatment, according to Genth, always with the ultimate objective of helping them secure permanent housing.
“That’s our number one goal,” Genth said.
Angela expressed how gratifying it is to see her young daughter trying to make a difference.
“I’m proud of her for wanting to do it,” she said. “I think it’s great that both my kids want to help other people in need.”
The Preble County Cold Shelter is located at 201 E. Lexington Rd in Eaton, at Eaton First Church of the Nazarene. The shelter is available from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. when the temperature is forecast to be 20 degrees or below. Those in need may contact The HIT Foundation at 437-733-4305.
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook or Instagram @mproperenglish