Ryan Jackson, a Campbell University student, embodies the true spirit of Saint Nicholas with his St. Nick—Resurrection Project. The project aims to bring back the true St. Nicholas by providing needed items to homeless persons in the Raleigh area. St. Nicholas used his resources to help those in need, particularly those who were vulnerable. Ryan is doing exactly that. In Ryan's own words:
Ryan Jackson with items to fill backpacks
Photo: Scott Truax GarnerCitizen.com
Used by permission
Photos: St. Nick—Resurrection, Facebook
Used by permission
"We tend to forget as we grow up that St. Nick was a real man who helped those around him, because of the faith he had within him. The bag that Santa was fabled to carry with him fascinated us as children and gave us a reason to believe.
"Now as we grow it is our turn to share that same hope with others. The value of sacrificial and antonymous giving is a powerful one that could change the lives of many of those on our streets, the veterans, the junkies, even the criminals."
Ryan's friends and others who joined them put together backpacks full of useful items: healthy snacks, cough drops, band-aids, warm gloves and socks, flashlights, notebooks with pens and pencils so people can write down their experiences, fleece blankets, tissues and more. These items will ease the burden of the streets.
It all started when Ryan was a student at Mars Hill College near Asheville. As an art student he would sketch homeless folks and then give them snacks, as well as the drawings. He soon realized that were more interested in the students' backpacks than in the food, as most homeless people were carrying their possessions in plastic bags.
"St. Nick—Resurrection is not aiming to eliminate homelessness, only answer the call to love them. In these hard economic times all peoples of faith, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim or Hindu, need to work together to alleviate the pain of homelessness on the streets of Raleigh."
The group also put on a Christmas party to bring a bit of cheer to people who would otherwise go without anything special at Christmas. Everyone at the party sang Christmas carols, enjoyed good food and conversation, before the backpacks were given out.
"Good ideas come out of necessity; it was those guys telling us they needed these things, not me," Ryan said.
"We want to bring Santa back into our lives to give hope to those without any.
Do you believe?"