SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- As we head into the winter months a group in Springfield is working to help the homeless and they're asking the community for donations.

Robert Charland, also known as "Bob the Bike Guy", is part of Operation Basic Necessities.

For the past two years, the group has put together backpacks that local police departments hand out to people who are homeless.

They are stocked with protein shakes, toothbrushes, hand and foot warmers, feminine hygiene products, gloves, scarves, and even coats.

Charland told Western Mass News last year they outfit nine police departments with more than 400 backpacks.

This year, they hope to do more.

"The officers see them on a day to day basis. There's a lot of people who have too much pride to go to a shelter so this is just a simple way to help the public," Charland explained.

After the group collects donations students at William N. Deberry Elementary and Boland School will be putting the backpacks together for police.

The public can drop off donations at 111 Lyman Street on Tuesday, November 19 from 5 p.m. until 8:30 pm.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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