Once homeless, she now gives back to others in need

DELHI TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Month after month because the begin of this 12 months, Miranda Heard has spent her time and paychecks within the service of others.

She makes sack lunches — dozens at a time — after which drives round to provide the meals to individuals experiencing homelessness.

“Usually I do 50. However the final time I had 50, and I had extra individuals. So now I’m doing 100,” mentioned Heard, 64, surrounded by chips, cookies and water bottles stacked in her Delhi Township house. “As I see it grows, then I’ll develop with it.”

Heard does all of it below the auspices of her nonprofit group referred to as Reward These Arms, however she doesn’t but have 501(c)(3) standing and may’t supply a tax deduction for contributions.

So whereas she’s planning to promote T-shirts and different objects to boost cash for her work, she mentioned up so far she’s been paying for all of the meals she prepares and packs every month.

Miranda Heard plans to sell t-shirts and zipper pouches to raise money for her efforts.

Jay Warren | WCPO

Miranda Heard plans to promote t-shirts and zipper pouches to boost cash for her efforts.

She does it, she mentioned, as a result of she was homeless herself when she left Cincinnati for Los Angeles in 2013. She lived in shelters on Skid Row and bought again on monitor with the assistance of the Union Rescue Mission and Downtown Women’s Center there.

She returned to Cincinnati in 2017 and works full time packing objects for purchasers and transport them out. Now she’s decided to provide again, she mentioned, and assist people who find themselves struggling. Plus, Heard mentioned, she doesn’t take into account her paychecks her personal anyway.

“It ain’t my cash,” she mentioned. “It’s the Lord’s cash.”

‘Wonderful tenacity’

Joe Altepeter, the chief social enterprise officer at Downtown Girls’s Heart, mentioned he’s not shocked to listen to about Heard’s work right here.

He remembers when she was enrolled within the heart’s job-training program, he mentioned.

“She was actually superb to see,” he mentioned. “I didn’t know a lot about her private story round her homelessness. However I simply noticed this superb particular person with superb tenacity.”

The middle helped Heard get a job in retail after she accomplished this system, he mentioned, and she or he grew to become an advocate for the group. She even accompanied Altepeter for an interview at KTLA 5, a Los Angeles tv station, to speak about what Downtown Girls’s Heart meant to her.

Miranda Heard breaks up chicken to make chicken salad.

Lucy Might | WCPO

Miranda Heard breaks up hen to make hen salad.

“We truly bought a $25,000 reward from a lady that noticed Miranda on the information program and was amazed on the story she shared,” Altepeter mentioned. “She has a extremely smart way of fascinating individuals.”

Heard spoke usually about returning to Cincinnati, he mentioned, and she or he referred to as him for recommendation earlier than beginning her nonprofit.

“She talked about wanting to provide again to the place she acquired,” he mentioned.

And that’s precisely what Heard is doing now.

‘I wish to give’

On a latest morning, she had a folding desk arrange in her lounge, lined with rows of paper sacks, cartons of chips and cookies and dozens of water bottles stacked close by.

She washed her palms, placed on plastic gloves and commenced scooping chunks of hen into a big plastic container earlier than breaking it into smaller items.

“I’m gonna make two sorts of hen salad,” she mentioned. “I’m gonna make one with onions and inexperienced peppers and one with out, as a result of, see, I understand how individuals are.”

Some individuals don’t like onions and peppers, she mentioned, and she or he needs the individuals who get her meals to take pleasure in it.

“Proper now, it’s nearly feeding the homeless,” she mentioned. “It ain’t about me. It’s concerning the homeless.”

Heard can afford to make and distribute the lunches as soon as a month, she mentioned, however she hopes to develop.

“I simply wanna assist, that’s all. I wish to give,” she mentioned, as she smashed the hen chunks. “I take into consideration, are they gonna take pleasure in it. I take into consideration, I want I might do extra. See proper now, my funds are restricted. However I at all times save up sufficient to do that.”

Miranda Heard delivers boxes of food like this to Santa Maria Community Services. This box has ramen noodles, cereal bar, peanut butter and other nonperishable food items.

Lucy Might | WCPO

Miranda Heard delivers containers of meals like this to Santa Maria Group Companies.

That’s not all she does.

Heard mentioned individuals give her containers of meals that she then distributes to households in want. She began giving them to Santa Maria Group Companies to distribute, she mentioned, after seeing a narrative concerning the company on the information.

“Miranda got here to our workplace unexpectedly on a Friday, and she or he informed me that she had all these meals containers that she was receiving. And she or he wished to provide it to us,” mentioned Francesca Phillis, a case supervisor for Santa Maria’s Steady Households program. “I believe inside every week, all 17 containers had been gone.”

The containers had been full of nonperishable meals like ramen noodles, peanut butter and cereal bars, she mentioned, and the households that Santa Maria serves had been desperate to get them.

‘I’m making it occur’

“It means a lot as a result of a few of them are simply dwelling, you realize, greenback to greenback,” Phillis mentioned. “And if we may give them meals in order that they don’t should spend it on the grocery retailer, that basically helps with their budgets.”

Francesca Phillis is smiling in this photo. She has wavy, red hair pulled up in a scrunchy and dangly gold earrings.

Lucy Might | WCPO

Francesca Phillis

Heard mentioned she needs to do extra.

She needs to have the ability to put together and distribute lunches extra continuously, she mentioned, and have a meals truck sometime that delivers scorching meals to people who find themselves homeless.

She goals of having the ability to distribute cleaning soap, T-shirts, socks and even gymnasium sneakers, too.

However for now, Heard mentioned, she’s listening to the Lord and doing what she will.

“It’s arduous, however I’m making it occur,” she mentioned. “I don’t have jack. However I’ve bought the Lord. And that’s all that issues to me. I’m blessed.”

Alongside the best way she listens to the tales of people who find themselves hurting, women and men going by means of among the similar struggles she did when she lived in Los Angeles.

“I informed my individuals in California, I’m gonna get me some clown sneakers,” Heard mentioned. “Along with your common sneakers, you hear these tales, you swell up. Your ft damage, your coronary heart hurts, your thoughts hurts. So I determine I’ll get me some clown sneakers, and I can maintain all of it in, you realize.”

Heard laughed arduous on the thought, saying, “I get foolish like that.”

She likes to chuckle, she mentioned, virtually as a lot as she likes to provide again.

Miranda Heard had dozens of paper bags lined up for lunches.

Lucy Might | WCPO

Miranda Heard had dozens of paper baggage lined up for lunches.

Miranda Heard mentioned she welcomes donations to assist with the work of Reward These Arms, however these donations are usually not tax deductible. For extra data, e-mail

Acts of Kindness tales seem weekly on WCPO 9 Information and If you realize about an act of kindness that you simply suppose ought to be highlighted, e-mail

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