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A random act of kindness: Tucson woman creates care packages for people who are homeless

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TUCSON (KVOA) – One could say that Hillary Engel is the prime example of a good human being. And, her good deeds have now inspired others to do the same.

"I just got tired of driving past people and not having anything to give," Engel told News 4 Tucson when she described the care packages she created to give people who are homeless.

"I keep them in my car. And, as I am driving around town and I see someone who needs something, I'll pull over and I'll hand them a bag," she said.

The bags include products such as water bottles, socks, disposable masks, dog food, feminine products and more.

Engel might be doing this as a random act of kindness during her free time, but she is also the Band Director at Sahuaro High School. The idea stemmed from doing a project with her students a few months ago.

"She has a very big heart. And, I think that reflects as her job as a teacher" said Engel's wife Paula Ugalde. "She's always thinking about her students day and night."

In January, News 4 Tucson reported about the "Everyone Count 2020" program. This program funds millions of dollars to address homelessness in Pima County. According to a Point in Time Count conducted by the City of Tucson and Pima County in 2019, there were 361 people sleeping on the streets with more than double that number sleeping in shelters.

"Now more than ever, I think that we need to focus on community and what we can do for each other," Engel added. "If it's as little as if taking someone's shopping cart back at the grocery store, then do it."

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Frankie McLister

Frankie McLister is the Multimedia Journalist for News 4 Tucson Today. His interest in storytelling began when he was young and loves telling those of Southern Arizona.

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