Volunteers prepare for Monday’s ‘3,000 Acts of Kindness’ event to help the homeless

Volunteers helping the homeless are preparing for Monday’s 3,000 Acts of Kindness event as Hennepin County is seeing a large increase in families experiencing homelessness.

Hennepin County officials said the amount of people experiencing homelessness is up 268% compared to last year.

Volunteers spent their Sunday preparing for the event to make a difference in the lives of people in need.

“I just walked into this place and said ‘Oh wow. I want to be around these people and help out and give back to the community,’” Daniel Schnack, volunteer, said.

Schnack spent the day at the Minneapolis Convention Center volunteering by unpacking shoe boxes for people in need.

Red Wing Shoes donated 500 pairs of new boots that will be given out to the homeless at the 3,000 Acts of Kindness event.

Earlier this year, Schnack was in their shoes.

“It is one tough thing being homeless. I thought I’ve been in some bad situations, but I’ve never been in a situation of being hopeless,” he said. “My heart goes out to the folks on the street.”

People attending the event will have access to different stations where people can grab gently-used and new shoes and coats to keep them warm in the winter.

Those experiencing homelessness can also get their feet washed if they’re living on the streets.

Organizers explained the need for these resources in the community is growing.

“Last year, we served over 900 people. This year, we expect to double that if not more,” Danielle Igbanugo, Coated in Love founder, said. “We are so happy to do this and blessed by our guests, volunteers and our donors and everyone who has helped make this happen.”

The Plymouth-based nonprofit “Coated in Love” organized the event. The organization’s mission is to provide hope, help and resources to people experiencing homelessness.

About 200 volunteers organized clothes and decorated the convention center to give a warm welcome to the homeless.

Over 40 social service agencies will be set up at the event offering information about everything from housing to drug treatment options. 

“Even though you’re down and you know it’s hard for you right now, we want you to know that there’s hope that things are going to get better and there’s people that care about you,” Amy Cheney, Coated in Love board member, said.

Care and compassion is what Schnuck said turned his life around in the Twin Cities.

In December, he’s graduating from his recovery program, bringing him one step closer to a better life.

“Don’t lose hope,” Schnuck said. “Seek help because it’s out there. If I can do it, you can do it.”