Tampa Businessman Launches ‘Blessing And Care Kit’ Program to Help the Homeless in Hillsborough County

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Chad Haynie, born in Korea, was adopted into a loving family in Kansas, but he isn’t in Kansas anymore; the 40-year-old businessman lives in Tampa where he’s launched BACK, a “Blessing And Care Kit” program for the homeless. MCA (http://www.mcaads.com) is helping get the word out about his efforts.

“After talking with many of these individuals I realized that a backpack would be a much better option for them, and what better way to gift them a backpack than to fill it with the kind of items that would be a blessing to them,” Haynie said.

Author and motivational speaker Leo Buscaglia (aka “Dr. Love”) once said, “Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” Chad Haynie’s talent is giving BACK-packs to the homeless, details of which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/608822939220045.

MCA (http://www.mcaads.com), a full-service ad agency in Tampa, is helping get the word out about BACK, which stands for “Blessing And Care Kit,” a program to help the homeless in Hillsborough County.

Born in Korea and adopted by a mid-west couple, Haynie said his parents routinely visited a rescue mission where they helped the poor. That attitude of sharing and caring had an impact on him growing up and traveled with him when he accepted a job in Tampa with a financial consulting firm.

“Over the last several years I’ve been blessed to be able to serve at soup kitchens, participate in food and clothing drives,” said Haynie, who went to school for business administration and has been involved with a number charities. As he searched for an opportunity in his new hometown, he learned that there were about 1,900 homeless in Hillsborough County. Admitting to being a rookie regarding the issue, he talked with people living on the street.

“Once they start to trust you, they open up a bit more,” said Haynie, who began to piece together a sense of what was needed. The Tampa transplant said he learned that many homeless store personal items in trash bags, hidden in spots around their territory, and carry “valuables” in plastic grocery bags.

“After talking with many of these individuals I realized that a backpack would be a much better option for them, and what better way to gift them a backpack than to fill it with the kind of items that would be a blessing to them,” Haynie said.

The backpack idea evolved into BACK-packs, with back standing for “Blessing And Care Kit”—but what to put inside? Good question.

Because of the recent storms, a number of people mentioned ponchos. Others talked about small but significant items like bug spray and sunscreen. What Haynie eventually came up with was a list that included socks, travel pillows, bottled water, light blankets, flashlights, batteries, antibacterial wipes, travel mugs, mosquito repellent, aspirin, Band-Aids, Neosporin, nail clippers, brushes, combs, beef jerky, dried fruit snacks, Ziploc baggies, bicycle locks, padlocks.

And, of course, backpacks.

Also welcome are gift cards, for example: Publix, CVS, Walgreens, Dunkin’ Donuts, Great Clips, Supercuts, Subway, McDonald’s and prepaid phone cards.

“Once you have your donation ready message me (via Facebook),” Haynie said, “and I will get with you to arrange delivery or pick-up—or you can drop things off at Ginger Beard Coffee which is located in the Pourhouse.”

The address is 1208 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33602.

“Ask for Josh,” he added, explaining that “I'll coordinate a time for a group distribution, and we'll have Officer Richie Mercado (TPD) accompany us as we make our way to an area close to downtown Tampa where a large population of the homeless congregate.”

The plan is to hand out the BACK-packs on Saturday, Oct. 10.

“I’d also really like to put some kind of inspirational note in each bag,” admits Haynie. “Some of the homeless may smirk at that, but I’m not so concerned with the look on their face as I am with the message to their heart.

Lindsey Meyer of MeyerInspired.com will chronicle the Oct. 10 event. Meyer is an on-location photographer who specializes in what she calls “unique photography and editing that create a one-of-a-kind image.” Categories include family portraits, events, glamour images, landscape, and corporate images.

For information about photographer Lindsey Meyer’s offerings, visit http://meyerinspired.com or more info about BACK-packs, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/608822939220045.

ABOUT: Classified Advertising Plus, LLC, is a full-service advertising agency. It has offices at 5020 W. Linebaugh Ave., Suite # 102, in Tampa, FL 33626. The telephone number is (813) 920-0197; the Fax is (813) 792-2630. MCA’s portfolio of services includes assisting attorneys and employers with labor certification.

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