Healing through helping

Healing through helping

BOLTON, N.C. — One of the most beautiful parts of the holiday season is seeing the goodness of others. One Columbus County woman says that doing good can have unexpected benefits.


What You Need To Know

Emily Partain was shot in April and is still recovering

Now, she collects donations to make care packages for the homeless in Wilmington

Those packages include food, toiletries, activities and blankets


Emily Partain believes the best way to heal yourself is to start by healing others.  

Emily Partain organizes care packages for the homeless. (Photo: Natalie Mooney)

“I had some trauma that I went through earlier this year, and when me and my family were driving to Wilmington and we saw how many people actually were homeless and that they maybe didn’t have any family or anyone who cared about them,” Partain said. “And I realized how lucky I am to have family.”

“I wanted to make them feel like, hey, people do care about them and that’s what got me started,” she said.

Partain was shot in April and is still recovering and doing physical therapy. She turned that traumatic situation into an opportunity and started handing out care packages to the homeless community.

“They get an activity book with word searches or crossword puzzles, and then a composition book or notebook, and some envelopes with stamps because everyone needs to be able to write letters,” Partain said. “They get food with things like peanut butter for protein and tuna, some Viennas, crackers, cookies, and then things like toothbrush, toothpaste, some sunscreen, lifesavers, gum, anything you can think of really that would be essential.”

Emily Partain creates care packages for the homeless. (Photo: Natalie Mooney)

All those items are donated by community members, friends and family who want to help her mission.  

For Partain, seeing that level of care in her community and spreading help and happiness—especially around the holidays—is her own kind of medicine.

“Usually, they have a really big smile, and we’ve had some that go, ‘oh, what’s in the bag’?” Partain said. “And some that go, ‘OK, this is going to be a good night tonight, I’ll have food in my stomach tonight.’”

Partain has already gotten enough donations to make over 10 bags to give out and she plans on continuing to hand them out throughout the new year.

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