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'They're people too': Three girls overcome fear of homeless people by helping them

Instead of letting their fear of homeless people get the best of them, three seventh-graders decided to start a sock drive for the homeless.

AUSTIN, Texas — Three seventh-grade girls are not letting a fear of homeless people stop them from helping those without a home. 

They decided that, instead of being afraid, they would learn more about the people who are homeless and how they can help. 

Olivia Overholser, Allison Bautista and May Downey have been collecting socks all around Hutto to donate to Front Steps, an organization that offers emergency shelter and services to those who are homeless. 

"One of us had a fear of homelessness, and so we wanted to do something that would help us not be so, I guess, scared," said Overholser. "So we decided we were going to do a sock drive at our school, and our goal was 300." 

Overholser's mom said on Tuesday the girls ended up collecting 531 pairs of socks. They delivered the socks to people with Front Steps ahead of the Point in Time count on Saturday morning. 

RELATED: 'These people are heroes' | Austin mayor joins hundreds of volunteers counting the homeless for 2020 Point In Time Count

"We live in Hutto, so we put them around coffee shops, our district office, and that just went off," said Overholser. 

Overholser, Bautista and Downey go to Farley Middle School. The sock drive is part of a project for a nonprofit student organization called Family, Career and Community Leaders of America

"First of all, we wanted to raise awareness in that not all homeless people are bad, and we can't just assume that," said Downey. "They're people too and we need to show them kindness." 

The seventh-graders said they learned it's important to kind to everyone, regardless of what hardships someone is facing.

"I learned that everyone can experience homelessness, and we should treat them with kindness and respect because they're our community as well," said Bautista.

The girls will give a presentation on Friday in Corpus Christi about their project. If they do well, they could move on to state and then nationals. 

While the sock drive is over for the project, the girls still want people to help. If you'd like to donate, visit the Front Steps website


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