‘It’s a beautiful thing they are doing’: Union Mission gives back to those in need


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As the world gets ready to turn over a new leaf and look ahead to 2021, a group of volunteers tried to end the year on a positive note by giving back to a Savannah community.

Union Mission, an organization dedicated to helping the homeless and others in need, handed out essentials and Christmas toys outside of its location in downtown Savannah Tuesday morning.

“It’s a need that they have,” Pat Youngquist, Union Mission’s executive director, said. “Especially with people losing their jobs [due to coronavirus]. They are losing some hours, maybe they are working some hours, but there is a real need.”

The organization gathered donations — including diapers, paper towels, clothes, toys and hot meals — for Tuesday’s event.

“We get so wrapped up in our own little world that you need to take time to disconnect from the computer and other things in life,” Suzanne Upchurch, a volunteer, said, “And just meet and greet other people.”

Upchurch, who was joined by her daughter, said she jumped at the chance to do her part the moment she found out about the event.

“There is such disparity with COVID-19, and so many people did lose their jobs, and those of us that are fortunate not to are giving a little deeper this year,” Upchurch said.

Plenty of people, waiting in line to grab essentials, explained how the donations will help them immensely after a tough year. One of them, Leonard Reeves, said he’s been out of work after a leg injury. The lifetime Savannah native added he’ll be able to make his family’s Christmas special now, all thanks to the volunteers’ efforts.

“It’s a beautiful thing that they are doing,” Reeves said, tears streaming down his face.”God gave us a blessing because he didn’t divide us. He united us. It’s truly a blessing.”

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