Every Sunday after lunch, Happy Helpers for the Homeless visits Our Daily Bread Employment Center to distribute food, toiletries, clothing, shoes, blankets, toys and books to the homeless. They bring 60 or more volunteers; some are adults but most are teens. The volunteers emphasize that they come not just to share things, but to share happiness, smiles and love with those who need it most.

Happy Helpers was formed 23 years ago by Amber Coffman when she was just 8 years old. Amber started volunteering at a homeless shelter and was so moved by the personal stories of the people there that, with the help of her mother, she began the project that has become her life’s work. Every week since then, a Happy Helpers for the Homeless group somewhere has gone out to distribute care and helpful items to people in need.

The organization, run entirely by volunteers, has grown to have groups around the country and around the world. They strive to provide whatever items their clients need most. Their activities include group birthday parties for homeless communities or communities coping with extreme poverty, children’s outings, employment fairs, haircuts, and dental treatment days. Happy Helpers volunteers come from schools, businesses, churches and other groups. Some are merely concerned individuals who sign up and then keep returning, often bringing family members with them. Amber continues to speak and advocate on behalf of the homeless and people living in poverty. She asks that people “please give a bit of your heart to those who are homeless. You are needed.”

To volunteer at Our Daily Bread, contact the volunteer line at 443-986-9031 or volunteerodbec@cc-md.org. You can contact Happy Helpers at 443-433-2416.