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Jefferson Award Winning Teens Team Up To Bring Warmth To East Bay Homeless

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Jefferson Award winners Corinne Hindes and Katrine Kirsebom (CBS)

Jefferson Award winners Corinne Hindes and Katrine Kirsebom (CBS)

WALNUT CREEK (KPIX 5) – Ever wonder what happens to the piles of clothes and gear that get lost on the ski slopes? Two Walnut Creek teenagers came up with an idea that snowballed.

On our recent visit, 13-year-old best friends Corinne Hindes and Katrine Kirsebom reached into the back of a car to pull out plastic bags loaded with warm winter clothes, a special delivery for Walnut Creek’s homeless.

Jackets, sweaters, hats, and gloves like these helped Chelce Nolan survive when he was on the streets.

“Really, it’s the difference between between staying reasonably comfortable and being miserable,” Nolan explained, as he helped the teenagers take the bags into the Trinity Center in Walnut Creek.

Kirsebom and Hindes created their own service group, K & C Care, two years ago, when they were 11-years-old and in the sixth grade. The competitive ski racers hatched a creative idea: why not collect items people lose at ski resorts and donate them to the homeless?

Hindes said they wanted to do something good:

“We used to walk on the street and see all these homeless people and they didn’t really have very warm attire on,” she remembered.

Her partner said the idea for collecting lost and found items from ski resorts came after she lost something herself.

“I lost my wallet,” Kirsebom recalled. “I went to the lost and found. They brought out this huge box of wallets. I was like, ‘Really?’ I realized people must leave a lot of things.”

The girls began to scoop up a blizzard of clothes and equipment that no one had claimed for 30 days. At the peak of ski season, the girls haul home several trash bags of donations a month from each of four resorts: Heavenly, Kirkwood, Northstar, and Sugar Bowl.

The pair donates usable competition gear to Carson High School’s ski team in Nevada. The 8th graders also bring clothes once or twice a month to the working poor at Trinity Center and Deacon’s Cottage in Walnut Creek.

“I really like to walk down the street and see people wearing the things that we gave them,” Kirsebom said.

“It’s wonderful to see their eyes light up when they get the clothes,” added Hindes.

The pair has given away hundreds of winter clothing items since 2011. Trinity’s acting Executive Director can’t say enough thanks.

“Gosh, if I just had an army of them, we could change the world!” exclaimed Donna Colombo.

K and C Care is growing. A new volunteer gathers and gives donations in Reno. Looking ahead, the girls do hope one thing stays the same: serving side-by-side.

“That’s maybe the best part,” Kirsebom said of her partnership with Hindes.

“It’s wonderful knowing there’s someone there who you care about and who cares about you there to support you and help you,” Hindes agreed.

So for reaching out to share and care for low income families, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Corinne Hindes and Katrine Kirsebom

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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