After Sherri Lucero’s brother, Kevin O’Brien, was killed in a motorcycle accident, she wanted to “make something good” come out of his death. So she was inspired to create the organization Backpacks for the Homeless in 2004, because Kevin “always had a heart for the homeless.”
The goal of the group was to fill backpacks with things homeless people would need, like toiletries and blankets, and hand them out to anyone in need. The first year, they delivered 30 backpacks. Last year, it was over 200. So far, Backpacks for the Homeless has given away more than 1,250 backpacks, along with sleeping bags, coats, shoes, and food.
Lucero’s philosophy is “share your bounty, not your leftovers.” And she lives her life that way, getting her whole family and lots of coworkers involved in her project as well. “You don’t always know what happens in a person’s life, so you shouldn’t judge,” she says. “You need to encourage a spirit to come back and they will rise up.”