Lake Elsinore woman's nonprofit collects items for homeless

Leticia Juarez Image
Friday, March 1, 2024
Lake Elsinore nonprofit helps homeless woman in need
Bizzy Hands, Kind Hearts donates bags of needed items like toiletries and socks to women who are homeless or living in shelters.

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (KABC) -- We all could use a helping hand every now and then.

And sometimes that help comes in little bags filled with necessities: Blankets, socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

For the unhoused, these basic items can be hard to come by. But a woman in Lake Elsinore has made it her mission to help those in need.

The countertop of Octavia Clayton's home is covered with small bottles and packets of toiletries. Clayton collects the hygiene products from family, friends and donors to package in what she likes to call Love Bags for her "Bizzy Hands, Kind Hearts" philanthropy effort.

"I can't even recall how this got started, but in 2016 I started having fundraisers," said Clayton.

She enlists friends like Tonya Henderson to help.

"She'll say 'hey what are you doing? Come to the house.' And you would think that we're coming for a BBQ or just to eat and she'll have all of this stuff and she's like yeah we're packing Love Bags," said Henderson.

The Love Bags are part of her organization's Project Saving Grace, aimed at helping underserved women in either shelters or living on the streets. The much-needed items are offered with a note of encouragement attached.

"We need to just look at these people that are on the streets as humans, you know, like they are your sisters," said Clayton. "What if it was your mother, or your aunty? Or something like that. Just because they aren't reaching out don't mean they don't want help."

Each week Clayton and her husband pack her car with the bags, along with water, thermal blankets and other items to hand out along her daily commute into work in Inglewood.

"When you are blessed there is a lot that you have to do. And I am trying," said Clayton. "This is what I am doing for God."

While Clayton receives donations of items and fund through her nonprofit's website, much of the funding for the bags come from Clayton's own pocket.

For more information, visit