A woman's special day was especially meaningful for New Haven's homeless citizens Saturday.
Audrey Cook celebrated her 38th birthday by holding a donation drive on the green for homeless people living in the city.
Channel 3's Sujata Jain spoke with Cook who said she simply wants to be a helping hand for those who need it most.
"I've been in a situation where I've been in need and not many people were there to help so I wanted to be that person," said Cook.
Another motivation was that she wanted to set an example for her children.
"To teach my children that it's not about receiving. It's about giving to others every day of the week," said Cook.
She came up with the idea last month. In the short amount of time since she made the decision to hold the drive, donations have flooded in.
"From Meriden to Wallingfor to you name it. We went everywhere and collected donations and then people just showed up here and dropped of more donations. It's just been amazing," said Cook.
Although the drive is meant for people without a home, anyone can stop by to pick up donated items.
The donations have included items like baby formula, snacks, clothing and shoes.
"It has been strangers calling, "meet me here," "meet me there," dropping stuff off. I had no more room in my car," said Cook.
After the reaction she's received, Cook said she will celebrate her birthday this way for many years to come.
"It fills my heart. It really does. It means so much to me to be able to give back to other people," said Cook.
Any remaining items will go to Waterbury, where her brother holds a similar donation every weekend.
They are already collecting items for the fall and winter.
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