Aidan Ionis started The Giving Bag Initiative as a small solution to the growing homeless problem in Portland.
PORTLAND, Oregon – A teenager from Beaverton has come up with his own little solution to tackle the increase in homelessness in the Portland area.
Aidan Ionis, 16, has a passion to serve his community. The Mountainside High School student had volunteered for the Sunshine Pantry and Habitat for Humanity, among others.
âIt’s easy for me to do, but it has a big impact,â Aidan said.
When Aidan noticed the increase in homelessness, he came up with his next project.
” What can I do ? So I thought maybe I should start handing out bags, and I called them âgive out bagsâ. ”
He started on Gift Bag Initiative in April, by donating snacks and hygiene products to the homeless community.
Aidan also includes a chance for those who get the bags to pay for them in advance.
âIt also contains a brown bag with ‘give me to a friend’ written on it. And inside the brown bag are exactly the same items,â Aidan said. “And they can spread kindness if they choose to, and that can affect more people in a positive way.”
He loads the bags onto a wagon for deliveries and has distributed over a hundred bags to date.
One of its first stops was Southeast Powell Boulevard.
“I chose to deliver there because I had my DMV test drive and saw, oh wow, they really need my help.”
The teenager also created a GoFundMe for its growing organization. He plans to continue helping people by donating bags and other materials for years to come.
âIt’s something that I want in my future helping people, whether it’s continuing this organization or joining another organization, because that’s just who I am and I love helping people. ”
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