Syracuse teen planning to personally help South Bend homeless

Published: Nov. 10, 2017 at 4:07 PM EST
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A Syracuse boy is gearing up for a cause he says God put on his heart.

Sixteen-year-old Terrance Egolf started writing down ways he could help people in a notebook, but it wasn't until a year and a half ago when he and his mom started coming to South Bend after she started getting treatment for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, that he found his answer.

Every time they would drive into town, they'd pass under the Main Street bridge and see the homeless.

"They have nothing," Egolf said. "They're just sitting there with nothing and we have everything."

"We pray out loud in the car instantly," Egolf's mom, Angie Tuttle, said. "It's always just, you just start praying for them because you don't know what else to do."

Watching the people go about their lives under the bridge, Terrance's faith called out to him saying exactly what to do.

"I just felt like he really spoke to me and made me do this," Egolf said.

Last month, he made a plan. He's packing up 40 little "blessing boxes" and buying warm blankets to give to the homeless in South Bend on Monday, so they can face the cold. Each one of the small boxes is filled with a few goodies.

"Thing of fruit snacks, a thing of pretzels, a juice and hot hands," Egolf said.

On top of every box is a message, straight from the man that sent Egolf on this mission.

"I can do anything through Christ, Jesus who strengthens me," Egolf recited.

Terrance isn't just relying on faith to help the homeless. You can tell by the decorations in his room, that he's also quite the chef.

"He's pretty much the one that cooks all the time in the house," Tuttle said.

He's trying to use those cooking skills to bring people to a donation drive he's hosting on Sunday.

"We're gonna have food there so people can eat too," Egolf said. "And then they can come donate stuff. "

He's hoping when he arrives in South Bend on Monday, he can have so much more than the 40 boxes he packed. This is all just the first step into a long journey. Egolf's love of cooking along with helping people is shaping what he wants to do in the future.

"Maybe one day I could open up a soup kitchen or something like that around that area," Egolf said. "It's kind of been like throughout this has been bouncing in my mind."

If Terrance has any leftovers after Monday, he'll be donating it to the Center For the Homeless in South Bend and the Faith Mission of Elkhart.

If you'd like to help out with donations, Egolf will be set up at the Brook Pointe Inn in Syracuse on Sunday from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M.