Veterans give “Hand Up” to homeless in Myrtle Beach

Group helps others through "Cardio Blessings"

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) When Army Veteran Jake Strickland found himself in a wheelchair recovering from another back surgery the only thing this fitness guru could do to stay fit was walk. After talking with his friend that is a Marine the pair realized they could combine their workout with a good cause.

“We tell them we’re trying to give hands up not a hand out,” LaDarren Landrum said of their organization Cardio Blessings. “We let them know we are here for you.”

“Our number one thing is to make them feel accepted,” Strickland said.

The pair along with many other volunteers hike around cities with backpacks full of supplies. It’s to help any homeless person they come across.  They’ve already done events in Atlanta and Raleigh and now are bringing their work to the Grand Strand.

It is an effort that is personal to LaDarren.

“I spent some time on the streets, I know how hard it is. I was 19 years old and I wasn’t fighting any addictions,” Landrum said. “If I tell them what I went through when I was homeless they can identify with it.”

After making that initial contact they return later on to the same spots, spending the day and night on the streets themselves showing those they reach out to the compassion and care to make a difference.

“If we get a smile, if we get a hug, if we get a thank you, we’ve already won,” Strickland said. “Everything else is extra because I think that is the start of them making that change.”

“They’re people just like you and I,” Landrum said. “God willing it just happens, you could just end up on the street.  It could be you, it could be your son, it could be your daughter, it could be your husband, your wife.”

If you’d like to learn more about the group “Cardio Blessings” you can visit their website or their Facebook Page.  Those link are included below this story.

The group accepts donations through their Amazon Wish List.  You can purchase the supplies they put in the backpacks and they will ship to the guys to put together and take out.