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Carlstadt Mom 'Wraps' Homeless In Hope

Nikki Whitney (left) and her team pack personal items into bags to distribute to the homeless. Photo Credit: Nikki Whitney/Wrapped in Hope
Nikki Whitney and the team set out to reach the homeless with bags of personal products. Photo Credit: Nikki Whitney/Wrapped in Hope
A team member talks with a local resident in Newark. Photo Credit: Nikki Whitney/Wrapped in Hope

CARLSTADT, N.J.– A Carlstadt mom has provided school supplies for children in Ghana, West Africa. But her mission to serve the less fortunate started much closer to home.

"My daughter and I were walking in Newark and saw a homeless person," Nikki Whitney said.

"She could not understand why this person was on the streets, why he didn't have family to help him. She asked a ton of questions and wound up in tears and heartbroken, asking how we can help.

Having worked in Newark for years, seeing homeless people doesn't phase Whitney much.

It was her daughter's "big heart and innocence," she said, "that opened my eyes to what was going on around me."

Whitney and Bible Baptist Church of Hasbrouck Heights united to create Wrapped In Hope .

The program fills bags with personal care products and basic necessities — shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste and even a bible — to distribute to local homeless people.

Wrapped In Hope has donated items to the Newark YMCA and to missionaries in Ghana, West Africa who run a school – Mephibosheth – for special needs children.

"We sent school bags full with supplies for the kids who live at the school," Whitney said.

The organization is collecting donations of the following for its Sept. 24 outreach, when members will hand out bagged lunches and will need bread, meat, snacks and brown paper bags.

"Our goal is to fill 500 bags with personal products and 500 bagged lunches," Whitney said.

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