Homeless men in Detroit shower 12 families with holiday gifts - KMSP-TV

Homeless men in Detroit shower 12 families with holiday gifts

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By Robin Schwartz
Fox 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- Piles of Christmas presents purchased and wrapped with love were presented to twelve local families in need Friday at Mariners Inn in Detroit.

The families were showered with gifts purchased with funds raised by homeless men, people who are down on their luck themselves and rebuilding their own lives.  However, the men took the time to think of others before themselves.

Jaminique Conway, a mother of five, was one of the recipients.

"The people here, they have more problems, I would think, than I do because they're homeless, and yet they're helping me, so it's a great lesson," she said.

This Christmas gift exchange program started in 2006 with four families.  It has now grown to twelve families with the help of generous donors.

Mariners Inn serves up to 144 men.  They come there voluntarily for treatment.  Their motto is we may be homeless, but we're not helpless, and this program is the perfect illustration.

"It says to me that people do have purpose and that the purpose is to help someone else.  Anything else would be selfish," said Mariners Inn CEO David Sampson.

The families go through an application and interview process to be selected, and while it looks like they benefit, the men get a lot out of this, too.  By giving of themselves, they build character and a sense of purpose.

"Never underestimate the power of someone who you think (has) less than you because truly the men here have more than I do," Conway said.

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