AKRON, Ohio — Lerryn Campbell has dedicated most of her life giving back to those in need. In fact, she is a full-time volunteer in Akron with the Homeless Charity.
“I’ve just always been a people person. I like to connect with people.”
When COVID-19 hit, Campbell noticed that many resources for the homeless went away.
"A lot of the grassroots organizations, churches ,as well as other businesses, closed up.”
Leaving some of the cities most vulnerable, the people she serves at the homeless charity, without essential items.
"There was a desperate need to make sure these folks were able to get the items that they needed.”
Campbell explained when the lockdown was in full effect, many people were left without access to water.
"Our folks had lost access to water and sanitary conditions for using bathrooms because everything was closed. So, there were no public restrooms. Places they would fill water jugs were closed. So, that became our first and foremost mission was to get water to these folks.”
From there, Campbell took to social media to see if her friends and family could help provide other essential needs for those living on the streets.
"I might post on my Facebook that I had someone who needed sweatpants or a sweatshirts or needed a tent, or whatever it was that was needed, and these items would just show up on my doorstep.”
Soon, Campbell's house became filled with donations to give to the homeless.
"And my house became overrun with donations because people were so generous.”
Campbell would take the donations from her house, and deliver them directly to the people who needed them.
"And then in order to cut down on that time that a person would spend without those items they needed, we just started gathering general items that we knew people would need and we would fill our car with them and head out. Hot meals, food, water clothes, and basic supplies.”
From there, Lerryns Closet was born. It's a space in Akron stocked with those donations that once filled her home.
"We’ve definitely built relationships with the folks in this Middlebury area and the surrounding areas, and they know they can come here for not only supplies but an ear, someone to hear where they are at.”
Now with a physical space to connect to those in need, she's able to help even more.
“If they have got some goals in mind that they are trying to accomplish, we are here to help them that too. So, we have helped a lot of folks with ID’s, helping them get birth certificates and helping them establish themselves so they can the next steps in their lives.”
If you would like to donate, you can find Lerryn's Closet on Facebook.