We assemble and distribute backpacks filled with survival essentials to the homeless community in Austin, TX. Macpack is truly grassroots. At first, it was just me, Eryn. I bought the items, packed the backpacks and handed them out. I was keeping backpacks in my backseat as street philanthropy as I drove around Austin on everyday business.
After some research, the list of essential items gelled into the following items in a basic Macpack:
Small tarp or poncho
Mylar emergency blanket
Travel size toiletries:
Wet Wipes (alcohol-free)
I was initially trying to find a way to connect with my dying father and deal with my great sadness. He was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in July. Since he lived in NJ and I live in TX, it was a challenge to spend quality time with him in his last months. He was a street philanthropist and gave money to anyone who asked him. We were not by any means rich, but he gave to people with honor and dignity. That is the spirit that I want to keep alive. It is also the spirit that I want to share with those involved in this project. So you see, this outreach is not just for the recipients but for the givers as well. When I met Ryan Reddick, he inspired me to register this as a bonafide nonprofit along with my mother, Claudia and we called it Macpack in honor of my father, Mac. Now that Ryan has passed on, it is in both of their honor that we continue Macpack. Thank you for your support.
Eryn Snowden-Rawley, Director