Do Good Today group helps Ogden area's unsheltered get fresh start

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NORTH OGDEN — A North Ogden family is giving those who are experiencing homelessness and trying to get on their feet a huge helping hand in starting fresh.

The family is taking on the one thing that's hard to do when someone gets into housing, and they're doing it with the help of hundreds of people around the Ogden area.

At Gary Attebery's house in North Ogden, it looks like spring cleaning is in full force. Boxes of clothing and household items fill his garage, and it spills into the driveway.

On Wednesday evening, Gary, his daughter Mindy and two grandsons moved the boxes around.

"All that stuff right there. It's all going," he said, pointing to a group of boxes sitting in the front yard.

All the stuff he's getting rid of, Gary just received.

"Everything you see there, plus some, was picked up yesterday," he explained.

Picked up from dozens of people around North Ogden and Ogden, who Attebery doesn't even know.

"The people just come out of the woodwork to help us," he said. "They're so excited to help us."

The items, which range from children's toys to kitchen staples, are for people Attebery just recently met.

"All the people that are getting this stuff have been unsheltered," he said. It's all going to people who were experiencing homelessness, but just recently got into housing.

Gary, his daughters, and grandsons don't run any official organization, but rather a movement called Do Good Today.

Attebery and his daughters will find people who need help as they transition into housing. Using social media, he'll make posts listing exact items he needs for each apartment.

In the last couple weeks, Gary's posts began to blow up — leading to hundreds of phone calls and texts from people who had furniture or other items they wanted to donate.

Two people have been able to move into apartments fully furnished in the past week, Attebery indicated, and a third one is expected to get the keys to their furnished apartment soon.

On Wednesday, Gary's grandsons did most of the heavy lifting to move a futon, décor and boxes into a studio apartment in Ogden Natashia Celius had moved into the day before.

Tasha described how she has been homeless for months ever since moving to Utah from Louisiana. She's been staying at the Lantern House.

Even after getting approval for housing and putting down a deposit for rent, she didn't have enough funds for a bed, table, or items like dishes.

"I was literally on the floor, hard floor, cold floor and I just thank God for whatever they were able to do in this short period of time," she said, of Do Good Today.

The futon will now double as her bed at night. She's got everything she needs to cook in her kitchen.

Attebery talked about how Do Good Today has provided all the furniture and belongings for six apartments just like Tasha's, all from community donations that have been pouring in.

"This is a blessing. I just can't stop saying it's a miracle, really," Tasha said, getting choked up. "These people, they just show so much love … and from the bottom of my heart I say, thank all of you."

Attebery explained how in addition to furnishing apartments, items his family collects are also donated to local schools and several community organizations.

He hopes to keep the momentum going as he focuses on doing good, and giving people like Tasha, hope.

"We're tickled to do it," Gary said, adding, "We're just trying to help out."

Anyone who is interested in helping the Do Good Today movement can do so through its Facebook page.

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Lauren Steinbrecher
Lauren Steinbrecher is an Emmy award-winning reporter and multimedia journalist who joined KSL in December 2021.


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