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Toledo's homeless treated to music, food; pick up free survival gear at 'Music and Stew' event

Organizers wanted to make sure people living on the streets know there are people who care and want to help.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Volunteers across Lucas County have been working hard in recent weeks to gather supplies for the area’s homeless community.

On Sunday, those efforts paid off as they returned to hand them out and spread some love.

Compassion and Generosity, just a few of the feelings going around uptown Toledo on Sunday.

"It's like bringing a big family together, bringing the kids together.”

People living on the streets were invited to "Music and Stew," an event hosted by Backpacks for Humans where they could get free backpacks filled with urban survival gear and enjoy good music, good food, and comradery.

Backpacks were filled with food, hygiene products, and clothes, such as gloves, to help people prepare for the winter.

But that wasn’t all.

"We also have 2 bands coming down. We have Pop's Garage Acoustic and Ben DeLong, and then there's a medical clinic. We have a pharmacist on site. I believe a respiratory therapist and a medical team to do free medical evaluations,” said Music and Stew organizer Nate Walke.

Organizers spent the last month collecting supplies, in order to hand them out at the event.

The pandemic has made things extremely tough for those in need, so organizers made sure the event went beyond the tangible items people can take with them. They also focused on showing those struggling that the community not only cares but wants to help.

"This is great. I'm in need of it right now, I'm trying to get my life back on track and I think it's a beautiful thing that's going on,” said Greg Hartman.

Cortiz Johns was also grateful.

"Don't think you're too big and better than everybody, just come down here and chill with a lot of people,” said Cortiz Johns.

Everyone who came out had a smile on their face, for the small but mighty gesture of kindness exemplified by the event.  Something we all could use more of these days.

“A lot of people on the streets feel invisible. People on the streets pass them by. They're afraid to say hi, so that's another piece of it that we really like is to have that human connection and make them feel like they are not invisible," said Walke.

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