BERLIN – A local widow hopes to carry on her husband’s legacy of generosity with a care bag campaign for the homeless.
In an effort to celebrate the kindness of her late husband, Bishopville resident Joyce Royer will host an outreach event for the homeless in Ocean City Oct. 5, in honor of what would have been her husband Fred Royer’s 80th birthday. Royer passed away in May due to sarcomatoid mesothelioma.
“He always wanted to help the less fortunate,” Joyce Royer said. “It was just something he felt he should do. He’d like this.”
The Royers, who purchased a condo in Ocean City in the 1980s and eventually bought a home in Bishopville, spent years enjoying what they consider “God’s country.” Fred Royer enjoyed visiting the beach and Boardwalk but also loved Berlin and made daily stops at On What Grounds for coffee. It was on his forays into Ocean City, however, that he would often encounter people in need of a little help. His children said he was notorious for giving jackets to the homeless or offering them a few dollars for a meal.
“My dad was someone who helped people in need without a lot of fanfare,” said son Robby Royer.
To honor his charitable nature, the Royers are currently collecting food and toiletries to fill care bags they’ll distribute with a free lunch Oct. 5 at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea in Ocean City. The Royers are currently collecting donations of toiletries (toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, soap, brushes, etc.), food items (beef jerky, crackers, granola bars, etc.) and warm clothing (socks, hats, gloves) to fill what they’re calling “Bags of Blessing.” The bags will also include information on local resources for those in need.
Royer said several family friends and local organizations had already donated to the cause but that she wanted to have enough supplies to fill 100 bags. Those that aren’t distributed Oct. 5 will be passed out to those in need during the winter months.
Royer said it was hard losing her husband after nearly 60 years of marriage and that the campaign to provide bags to the homeless was a way to ensure his spirit of generosity lived on.
Her daughter agreed.
“I think it’s important to encourage people to pay it forward,” Lisa Royer said. “My dad never judged. He believed in second chances. Anybody could be down on their luck.”
For more information on the collection effort or to donate call 301-291-5716 or email [email protected].