Teen passes out backpacks filled with essentials to Chicago homeless

CHICAGO (WPVI) -- A 13-year-old boy is passing out backpacks full of essential items to individuals who are homeless around Chicago.

Ryan Gustis and his dad, Steve, visited a homeless camp in the Avondale neighborhood on Sunday. They passed out backpacks to anyone who wanted them.

The Woodridge native first started The Backpack Project three years ago. Since then, his efforts have led to roughly 550 donated bags.

On Sunday, Ryan took time to talk to everyone he met, hoping to spread kindness and respect.

"The people were very welcoming there and were really kind and let us know who was there and who might not be as interested," Ryan said.

His dad, Steve Gustis, said the biggest lesson they're able to teach Ryan "is that it's not just about giving somebody money, it's giving them kindness and dignity."
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