Eric Outlaw, a senior third basemen on the Cardinals’ baseball team, wanted to give to those less fortunate. So he started Backpacks Across Chicago, an initiative to hand out backpack filled with winter garments to the homeless.
“A lot of these people are like you and me. They came from good stories, there’s nothing wrong with them, they’re good people,” said Outlaw. “It’s just sometimes life hit you with obstacles that lay you in a certain position and it’s harder to fight back. That’s the case with some of the people.”
Giving The Gift Of Warmth
Thanks to donations from friends, family, and community members, Outlaw gathered around 40 backpacks filled with winter garments, blankets, hand warmers, hygiene materials and some snacks.
“They didn’t realize they were getting everything. So they were like ‘oh yeah I’ll just take the hand warmers and the backpacks.’ I was like ‘no we’re giving you all of this.’ They said ‘oh my god, thank you! God bless.’ It was really cool to see how thankful they were for the stuff and everyone who gave me [a backpack] their stuff was put into a smile and someone’s happiness.
Along with some friends Outlaw distributed around 30 backpacks in Chicago on Thanksgiving weekend before he had to stop due to rain. But, Outlaw isn’t letting the rain soak away his spirit as he plans on collecting even more backpacks during winter break so he can continue to give the gift of warmth.
Outlaw says he hopes the North Central College baseball team can continue the tradition after he graduates.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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