ZEPHYR — When Zephyr resident Donna Heard got her life straightened out, she wanted to find a way to help others.
That’s why Heard is preparing to make a trip to her native Fort Worth on Oct. 24, were she and several accomplice will distribute “blessing bags” to the homeless. She made trips to Fort Worth around this time the previous two years.
About 20 people will travel to an area on Lancaster Street, where they will distribute nearly 800 bags with items including blankets and quilts, tarps, snacks, canned food items, laundry detergent, masks, wipes, Bibles and the “Psalm 91” book by local author Peggy Joyce Ruth.
All of the items are donated and are being stored at a building in Zephyr until they’re taken to Fort Worth. Heard said she’ll rent a U-Haul truck to transport the blessing bags.
Some of the bags were distributed earlier to homeless in Brown County, Heard said.
A group of women from the Zephyr Baptist Church made the quilts that are part of the blessing bags. Heard credited two individuals — Ann Johnson and Dorlin Gaenz — with being huge helps.
Donations have come in from all across the United States, and donations are still welcome, she said.
“For years I was a drug addict,” Heard said. “I was homeless on the streets of Fort Worth. When my life got straight I just decided that I wanted to help the people that were less fortunate.
“One lady told me because I had told her we don’t ever know for sure who that person is that we’re helping. We don’t know their story and we don’t know them. And she said, ‘you can look at it like entertaining angels.’”
Last year, Heard and those helping her took about 250 blessing bags to Fort Worth.
Heard’s mother, Evelyn Loyd, described a man and his wife who received blessing bags during a previous year. The man because ill and had to go into the hospital, Loyd said. Unable to pay the rent, the man’s wife ended up virtually living in the hospital’s parking garage, she said.
Heard owns a boutique called Bloomers and Boots, which shares space with another business called Keeler’s Korner, which is owned by Loyd.
“I’m awfully proud of her,” Loyd said of her daughter. “Let me tell you, she was on the streets for three years. I did not know if she was dead or alive. Had not heard from her. So this is a big deal in my heart.
“We’ve talked to some ladies and men too that have children that are on the streets in Fort Worth. And they don’t know where they’re at or what they’re doing. A lot of people judge the homeless and say ‘well they’re just sorry, they don’t want to work or they’re drug addicts or they’re alcoholics.’ That’s not the truth of a lot of them.”