F’ville brother and sister act to make a difference to homeless


Two Fayetteville youngsters are seeking help to provide a better Christmas for homeless people in Atlanta who are served by the longstanding Safehouse Outreach program.

Mattie and William Terek are seeking donations of basic items to make 100 care packages for Safehouse participants to be distributed later this month. It’s a big gesture from Mattie, a third grader and brother William, a first grader, but it’s also a sign of how profoundly they’ve been affected by their experience in helping people at Safehouse.

“It’s been amazing for our family,” said the kids’ mom, Leslie Terek. “They feel they’re serving God and they get into it, they love it,” Terek said of her family’s experience at Safehouse, which has been operating in Atlanta since 1982. “They really, really get the picture, like Mattie when she was writing the letter, knew we were asking for things we take for granted, things that everybody has that they actually do not have.”

The wish list includes Chapstick, small containers of soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion, mini tissue packs, mini hand sanitizer, hard peppermint candy and $1 gloves and $1 hats, new or used. Toothpaste and toothbrushes have already been donated by dentists Walter Hudson and Charles Barber.

Mattie and William have been putting their own money into purchasing the basic items. With the public’s generosity, they can meet their goal of 100 care packages.

If you want to help, donation boxes are set up at Gillroy’s Got It in Peachtree City and Jones Pharmacy in Fayetteville and also at the Tereks’ home at 130 Rising Mist Drive in Fayetteville.

Safehouse is an organization that focuses on helping to give homeless people “a hand up, not a hand out,” Terek noted. The goal of Safehouse is to give the homeless a permanent address so they can hold a job and save up money for a place of their own, Terek noted.

“We are so fortunate, we have no idea,” Terek said. “It’s a good conversation to have with our kids: ‘why are they on the street?’ It’s not always drug use. It goes so much further than that.”

The Tereks were first exposed to Safehouse through Fayetteville First United Methodist Church, which routinely spends service time at the organization’s office in downtown Atlanta. For more information about Safehouse Outreach, visit www.safehouseoutreach.org.