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Patty Pavey: Spearheading a Difference

Patty Pavey Helps Homeless With Basic Needs Items

Writer / Sarah Shutt
Photography Provided

Winter weather is always a struggle for everyone, the homeless have more than just the temperature and snow to worry about. Some of the items the homeless need are basic items that everyone uses to survive. This is where the Toss-em Bags come in handy for the ones in need.

Back in December Patty Pavey, creator of Today’s the Day Coaching and Hypnosis, met with a friend and her daughter, Dawn in Indianapolis. Dawn and her family were making bags filled with necessities to hand out to the homeless. This idea resonated with Patty and she brought that idea home and thought about it for a while. Later, she brought it up to her Networking group, because they have a goal each year to help out the community somehow, and they decided that they would follow through with the idea of Toss-em Bags as their new project. Along with her networking group, Patty’s husband, Chuck Pavey, who works as a JAG specialist at Lafayette Jeff High School, took the idea to his students and they started the project as well. Patty Pavey

Once word got out in Patty Pavey’s building, people started making donations immediately.

“It was amazing, people were donating cash, items, and already made bags,” Pavey says.

Along with the cash and item donations, they made an excess of 170 bags ready to hand out at the Salvation Army during their meal times for the homeless.

“With their donations, I utilized this project to shop at local stores and buy out all of their scarves, hats and gloves a couple of times,” Pavey says. “All of these bags had socks, lip balm, a snack, and $3 for them to go purchase something themselves, whether it be a cup of coffee or a hamburger –  just enough for them to get what they want.”

Patty PaveyDespite COVID, they did not let it stop them from helping out those in need. With social distancing implemented, they had people of all ages packing these Toss-em Bags. Chuck and his Toss-em Bags were also doing well. He had teachers and students donating and packing bags to bring to school the everyday. When he took some students to deliver bags, they saw a homeless woman in the parking lot. They gave her a Toss-em Bag and she was very grateful. Later, when they were leaving, the kids were so excited because they saw the same woman wearing the gloves from the bag that they had given her.

“It was like they had come full circle,” Pavey says. “The kids worked hard to make these bags, and to see the woman wearing the gloves shows that a little compassion for someone else can go a long way.”

The networking group was handing out the bags and the young business people were amazed. One thing that they noticed was that the homeless would say thank you for such a small gift.

“These people that we are helping never ask for two bags because they were just grateful that you handed them one,” Pavey says.

One time, after handing bags out, a woman came back surprised to have found the $3 and wanted to return it, thinking it was a mistake. However, when she learned that it was for her she felt so happy to receive such a small amount –  because to her, that is worth more than $3.

Through both projects, many hearts were touched. Whether it be the families and everyone who came together to create these bags or for the people who received them. However, the homeless are struggling during all times of the year – not only during the winter. The summer months will also be difficult for them, and they will need people who will reach out and help them. Chuck is planning on continuing his project in the spring, and Patty is possibly planning on starting it up again in the fall. Anyone can help those in need, you do not need to go through a certain group to do so. As a community, we should ask ourselves, “What can we do to help?” For example, families and friends can come together occasionally and gather items for the ones in need. Working together during these uncertain times to help the less fortunate can only make a community stronger.

“During a time of crisis in our country, and in our communities, with people unable to be together and dealing with the frustrations of today – I think this was the best time to do this,”  Pavey says.

With what started off as a small group of people, it surely exploded into such a wonderful thing for the community. Thinking ahead, if more people join in on this act of kindness, the impact could be twice as large as it is now.

“There is no such way of making too many bags,” Pavey says.

Everything can be used to help those in need, and this idea is making an impact without an agenda. After handing the Toss-em Bags out, what they have left over will be donated at the Turning Point, which helps people who have addiction and mental health problems.

“This would not be possible without the help from everyone who donated,” Pavey adds.

These bulging bags would not have been possible if not for the many donations that were received – businesses and individuals wanting to support the cause. Kyle Stage of Revive and Thrive Hypnosis and Patty Pavey of Today’s The Day Coaching & Hypnosis cleaned the shelves of a couple of local stores to finish filling bags.

Pavey appreciates all partners and all those who helped out:

– Amanda Beasley with Advanced Medical Imaging

– Art Lehman from Financial Center

– Bradley Erb with Bowe Digital

– Crystal Sanburn of Cross America

– Dana Stewart MD from Meadows Medical Center

– Jeff Hughes from Edward Jones

– Jim Parsons of The Automotive Heritage Museum

– Josh Walden from Effectv a Comcast Company

– Kalena James from LCR Coaching LLC

– Kristianna Upchurch and Project Access

– LADD Dental Groups, INC

– Lisa Brady and Terri Jackson with Brady Insurance Group

– Lori Minor with Minor Expressions

– Maria Toney from Cardinal Contracting

– Pastor Tony Stewart of The Reformation Faith Ministries Church

– Patty Stage from Patriot Insurance Group

– Rae Bates with Pampered Chef

– Shanelle Cahill with Wyman Group

Participants of Kokomo Networking Connections also donated items, cash and time to get the bags made and helped with loading, unloading and distribution.

Thanks also goes to the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce with Sandy Chapin, Amy Conrad, Dan Giesecke, Caele Pemberton and the use of Inventrek break-room to store, assemble and organize. Big thanks also to Mike McCool’s blessing to the project.

“There were wonderful days that some people dropped things off, left cash and so much more,” Pavey says. “To everyone who participated in any way, please know that everything you gave and every positive word and thought helped this project grow outside of the bounds that was thought possible when it started. Please know that you are appreciated, and we are very sorry if we missed anyone who donated.”

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