Giving helping hand to homeless

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  • Staff at Delta assembling care packages for the homeless (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Staff at Delta assembling care packages for the homeless (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Kelsey DeSilva and staff from Delta assembling care packages to hand out to the homeless (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Kelsey DeSilva and staff from Delta assembling care packages to hand out to the homeless (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Airline angels: staff at Delta Air Lines have assembled care packages to give to Bermuda’s homeless

    Airline angels: staff at Delta Air Lines have assembled care packages to give to Bermuda’s homeless
    (Photographs by Blaire Simmons)


Christmas is coming early for Hamilton’s homeless this year.

Kelsey DeSilva, Michelle Grimes and Galvette Place will be at City Hall tonight, handing out soup, care packages and other goodies.

They decided to help the homeless after seeing them around town and were inspired by their employer, Delta Air Lines. Since 2009, the company has collected coats for needy people through its One Warm Coat Drive.

“We get to travel. We wake up every day in good health. There are people who don’t have basic privileges.

“We realised there are people less fortunate than others who don’t have a family to turn to. At this time of year everyone should have some joy in their life.”

Bermuda’s needy might receive scarves crocheted by Ms DeSilva’s mother, Susanne Fuller, gloves or a care package inspired by Delta’s overnight kits for customers with lost luggage.

“This was all about us taking a step back and looking at our own lives,” the 22-year-old said. “We thought about what someone would need if they didn’t have anywhere to go or anyone to turn to. We asked ourselves what would they need or want to receive.

“When we travelled we went to different stores and picked up things. We really wanted it to be something extremely memorable and something they could use.”

A comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, soap, sanitary wipes, gloves, scarf, deodorant and body wash are among more than 150 items they bought with their own money and donations from other Delta employees.

“We didn’t think it would be on this large a scale,” said Ms Place, 41.

“We thought, let’s get a few little items and put them in a bag and hand them out. Kelsey is the brains of the operation and Michelle and I are more on the creative side.”

They plan to start handing out their goodies at 6.30pm. Anyone who wants to help is welcome.

“We will walk around and give our packages to whoever we see in need,” said Ms Place. “The soup will be pumpkin. Another co-worker, Karen DeSousa, makes it and it’s delicious.”

Last Christmas they raised money for a little girl with cerebral palsy.

“We had bake sales and other fundraisers,” said Ms DeSilva.

“We got her different things she needed such as Pampers and formula.

“We had a dinner and everyone bought their children. Santa came. The little girl seemed to be having a good time. She really enjoyed seeing Santa Claus.”

They decided to help the homeless after seeing them around town.

“When I wait at the bus terminal some of them come up to me and ask for $2,” said Ms Place.

“I usually nip across the street and get them a sandwich. They are always grateful.”

They plan to continue the tradition next year.

“We want to make it bigger and better each year,” said Ms Place.

“At this point, I don’t know what we are going to do. As long as we are giving from the heart, it doesn’t matter.

“We Bermudians have to be our own advocates and start charitable initiatives. It is one of the best feelings in the world to know you can give back to someone.”

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Published Dec 15, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 15, 2017 at 12:59 pm)

Giving helping hand to homeless

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