PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio — For the last decade, Hellreigel's Inn has been collecting items for Lake County's Project Hope for the Homeless shelter at its annual giving tree drive. Usually, the fundraiser brings in a decent amount of necessary items, however, this year's donation drive exceeded expectations.
"I'm totally blown away. Phenomenal for the simple fact because under the circumstances with COVID and businesses going down quite a bit. I'm surprised customers did actually come in and donate as much as they did. This has been our biggest year bar none," said Silvio Trifiletti, Hellreigel's Inn owner. "I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the homeless and I try to do whatever I can to help."
Customers who stopped by Hellreigel's Inn donated a variety of items like socks, toilet paper, shampoo, clothing and much more.
The project manager for Project Hope for the Homeless, Brian Bossert, said they're blown away by the support from the Lake County community.
"I couldn't believe how many things have been collected from the drive that Hellreigel's did for us," Bossert said. "It's nice to know people care. Very fortunate and very blessed to have as many donors as we have."
Bossert said the past year at the shelter has been tough. Usually, they have 50 beds available for adults and families, but due to COVID-19 they only have room for 30. But added, the items given to the shelter will be put to good use daily.
"It helps us with our ultimate goal of assisting adults and families transition into their own housing," he said.