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Holiday Helper creates goody bags for San Antonio homeless

Mattie Epperson starts working on project well in advance

SAN ANTONIO – Meet Mattie Epperson, who has the city's homeless at heart this time of year.

Or really, all year. Epperson starts preparing Christmas goody bags for the homeless as early as the summer months.

Epperson recognized a problem and made it her duty to help out where she could.

"Well, usually the children are given all the toys, the clothes (and) everything they need,” Epperson said. “People usually reach out to the children, but very few reach out to those (adults) who are less fortunate."

With help from her daughter, Epperson started assembling the goody bags, which are filled with toiletry items such as socks, soap and a wash cloth. The bags are also stocked with other handy items including bandages and wipes to help with cuts and sores.

And she didn’t forget the snacks.

"I put them together one day just sitting on my floor at home," Epperson said.

She starts collecting items early.

"Every time we got paid, we bought something -- so we put these packages together," Epperson said.

She and her daughter have been doing this since the summer, so that they have enough goody bags by Christmas.

When Epperson began the project, she said she was taken aback by how a little kindness goes a long way.

"I was surprised,” Epperson said. “Not that they were grateful, but the remarks that they made. They blessed us. They even told us, ‘Hey, we're going to say a prayer for you.’"

The gesture doesn't have to cost a fortune. It costs Epperson $2.50 to put each bag together.

She just wants to make enough so she doesn't have to turn anyone away.

"To be able to bless someone that is less fortunate than myself, that would be it for me,” Epperson said. “That would be my Christmas wish."

Sam's Club, Corner Store and KSAT 12 donated some of the items included in the Christmas goodie bags.

KSAT 12 and our community sponsors are teaming up this season to give back to those who have kept alive the spirit of giving all throughout the holidays, as part of our Holiday Helper campaign.

The KSAT 12 Community partners include Security Service Federal Credit Union, Corner Store and University Health System.