The count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for communities across the country to receive funding.
More than 20 volunteers from the Senior Companion Program of Bolivar County and the Bolivar County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. assisted in collecting, sorting and preparing the hygiene bags that will be distributed to the homeless during the canvass.
In total, 2,434 personal hygiene items, including blankets, flashlights and first-aid kits, valued at $2,718.62 were used to create 162 bags.
"I'm very proud to see our volunteers come together and organize all the products that were donated," said VISTA Director Linda Stringfellow. "It's a great effort coinciding with Martin Luther King Jr. Day."
The bags will go directly to homeless people living on the street and those who are living in emergency shelters, transitional housing and domestic violence shelters.
The VISTA program is partnering with Ledger Parker, program director with Mississippi United To End Homelessness in Jackson, to ensure the bags and other donations are given to agencies and individuals in the Delta that are in highest need.
For more information on VISTA, visit www.americorps.gov/about/programs/vista.asp.