CHICAGO (WLS) -- One Chicago family is continuing a tradition of paying it forward to the city's homeless population. Their fight to help those in need is due in part to the family's struggle to keep two of their own alive years ago.
"This is a security blanket," Nick Miaskowsky, founder of Golden Wing Helping Hands.
The Miaskowsky family is giving out care packages. Stuffed in each package is just a bit of care and warmth for those in desperate need.
"Like blankets, warm clothing, [and] gift cards," he said. "Basically, anything they would need, actually, living out on the streets."
This is the seventh year the Miaskowsky family is giving to Chicago's homeless, but it's their third year doing so under their non-profit "Golden Wing Helping Hands."
"We actually made 80 today and we passed out at least 60 of them over here at this shelter," Nick said. "But since starting our non-profit, we've handed out 2,000 of these packages to 2,000 different people."
Some of those people joined in Sunday to also give a helping hand to those from the shelter on Canal Street on the city's Near West Side.
"Reach out to somebody, help somebody in any way that you can," Miaskowsky said. "That's the most important thing.
The purpose behind these efforts come from some trying times when Nick was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer at just 10-years-old, the family said. His diagnosis came years after his older sister, Samantha, had dealt with the same illness when she was three.
"With the first one, with my daughter, it was devastating, of course. But, when you hear the same message nine years later -- that your child has a brain tumor and it doesn't look good -- it's like your world is ending," said Nick's mother, Edith Miaskowsky.
But their lives continued, now, with a purpose to help others who are facing different yet difficult circumstances.
"A lot of people, they just don't look toward the homeless people. They ignore them. And, that's how I felt growing up," Nick said. "I'm just so blessed to still be alive, so grateful, and this is really our way of giving back to others."
Chicago family gives out care packages stuffed with care, warmth to help homeless
'A lot of people, they just don't look toward the homeless people. They ignore them. And, that's how I felt growing up'
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