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Sisters’ summer project helps the city’s homeless

Sisters’ summer project helps the city’s homeless

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A project by three Greensboro sisters soon may make life a little more comfortable for the city’s homeless.

Brittany, Madison and Hayleigh Carroll have filled 200 backpacks with ponchos, T-shirts, toiletries, snacks and other supplies to help the homeless.

Greensboro Urban Ministry will begin distributing the backpacks in a few weeks, once the sisters get the last supplies in the mail.

“It gives you a really big wake-up call,” said Brittany, 17. “Two T-shirts ... that’s a huge deal for people who all they have is the clothes on their back.”

In June, Roy and Vanessa Carroll decided to challenge their daughters to come up with a summer project to help others.

“We wanted the project to be very specific to the people in the immediate community,” said Roy Carroll, a prominent developer in Greensboro.

With instructions to stretch their dollars to do the greatest good, the girls developed a budget for the amount of money their parents gave them.

Brittany, Madison and Hayleigh worked with the director of Greensboro Urban Ministry, the Rev. Mike Aiken, to determine what items would be the most useful.

Aiken advised that the sisters focus on what homeless people might need during the day, so they filled the backpacks with “small stuff to tide them over during the day,” Madison, 15, said. The girls researched item prices, doing much of their purchasing online.

Aiken also estimated that there are 200 chronically homeless residents in Greensboro, about 170 of them men, and the sisters created separate backpacks for men and women. They spent about $13,000 on the project.

The girls volunteer with their church at the Urban Ministry Center. “It’s going to be awesome to be in the soup kitchen on a Tuesday night and see people come in with the backpacks,” Brittany said.

The experience taught the girls a few life skills, too.

“We learned how to manage money and how to manage our time,” said Hayleigh, 12.

The sisters want to do a summer project next year, too.

“We all learned about the community and planning and people in general,” Madison said.

Contact Jamie Kennedy Jones at or 449-4610.


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