I am very proud to say that we had our shower updated with sponsors today. The Derenzo Charitable foundation, Bridgewater Credit Union, B.M. Bismarck Properties LLC, Kraft Family Foundation, and C.M. Cleaning company. My buddy Bill at Merchant Signs gave me a hand. Did I tell you the 1st time, I called Bill asking for his help he hung up on me. Lol!! I wanted something for free. He took me seriously at above the 3rd phone call. I am honored to say he is a very good friend of mine. So many people have been a big part of our mission. Helping others!! Joe Emerson, Triad advertising, CO. Graphics and Design of Dighton have been there from the beginning to help. I can’t thank you all enough.
Everyday I’m shocked by the people that are stepping up to the plate to help. First, I’d like to say thank you to Michelle at BJ’s. We purchased two pallets of water and then she gave us an additional one. Two pallets of water cost us $578.00. On the way home, I stopped in to see my friend Ron Emma. I saw his vehicle at the new restaurant he will be opening at some point in the near future. He asked me what I was doing with all that water. I said “doing what I do best… helping others Ron”. I wasn’t surprised that he opened up his wallet and chipped in towards the water. Ron has been a supporter of ours from the very beginning. My next stop was Honey Dew Donuts to pick up some masks that they had ready for us. Then, I went to Fall River to drop off a palette of water at a couple of different stops. I thought that my last stop would be dropping our 150 Brown bag lunches in Brockton, but then Nick and I stopped to get a ice cream on our way home. I don’t think I’ve ever had an ice cream taste so good. As always, thank you for your love and support!
By: Litsa Pappas
WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — A Bridgewater man is lending a helping hand to the homeless in a big way this winter.
Known as “Soup Man,” Peter Kelleher delivers warm clothes and food with his own bus full of donations.
What looks like a walk-in closet, full of jackets, shoes and scarves is actually Kelleher’s bus.
“It’s set up like a closet, everything’s sized,” said Kelleher. “This is full of brand new socks.”
It all started as a way for Kelleher to give back after losing his son Travis to the opioid epidemic back in 2016. He started by making soup for the homeless, which is where he got the nickname Soup Man.
“It was the homeless people that named him the Soup Man, they’d get all excited and say, ‘The Soup Man’s here the Soup Man’s here,’ so that’s where he got his title of the Soup Man,” said Amanda Souza, the Board Director at Support the Soup Man.
Travis, ultimately, is the fuel for Kelleher’s work.
“He has put me to work, I work for him; Travis is my passion, he’s my drive I work pretty much 24 hours a day,” said Kelleher.
Kelleher says he spends anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 on brand new boots every week for the homeless. He also employs a team of people who help put together bags full of new toiletries for those in need.
But it doesn’t stop with the donations.
Kelleher recently created a portable shower trailer with three stalls that offers hot showers to those stuck in the cold.
“I knocked on doors and raised close to $50,000, Honda-motor company gave us the $5,000 generator,” said Kelleher.
“We did over 500 toiletry kits in three hours,” said Souza. “These kits will go into backpacks that Peter will distribute throughout the community with hats and gloves also.”
The efforts to keep the homeless fed and warm are a weekly battle, where the team serves hundreds of people in need across New England – whether it be with toiletries, clothing or hot lunches.
“It’s just grown tremendously and it’s all from the community,” said Souza.
Now, Kelleher hopes to get more grant money so he can find even more ways to help others.
“I have so much more I want to do, let me tell you this is just the beginning,” said Kelleher.
Kelleher’s non-profit is always looking for donations if you’d like to help.
Peter Kelleher has become a local “Souperman,” known for his donations of winter clothes and homemade soup.
After a tragedy struck his family, Massachusetts resident Peter Kelleher decided to make sure everyone has something warm to eat during the cold winter months. Three years ago, his 33-year-old son, Travis, passed away from a drug overdose while living on the street. Kelleher said that it stirred him to action.
“I had to do something,” he said. “And I came up with this brainstorm that I was going to make soup, and bring it out to the homeless. I had to do something. I was a wreck, I was a wreck, and I started making hot soup. I started bringing it into the homeless population.”
One day, a woman who Kelleher said “could have been (his) mother” approached him wearing no hat or gloves. Troubled by her plight, he gave her his own in a simple act that quickly went viral. Soon, a movement called “Support the Soupman” was born, and people started donating to Kelleher. One day, Al Roker joined Kelleher at work to see first-hand how much the warm clothes and hot, homemade soup could impact those in need. “It’s pretty simple, people helping people,” said Kelleher. “And it doesn’t take much to put a smile on someone’s face.” Now, he passes out soup and clothes from a set of school buses. “You don’t see people handing soup out of a school bus!” joked Al, as he helped Kelleher distribute cups of soup to those who approached.
Kelleher estimates that since he first started this project, he’s given out more than 3,000 cups of soup, and has donated tens of thousands of winter clothes. He even travels with a portable shower, allowing people without homes to enjoy a hot shower. Kelleher isn’t just popular in Massachusetts. He said that he’s had cities and towns in different states calling him, asking him to bring his buses to their cities and spread the message of how much a cup of soup can help someone.
“What does a hot cup of soup mean?” asked Al.
“Warmth and kindness and love,” Kelleher responded. “That’s what it means to me.”
Peter was selected as “Hero of the month” from Century 21 and the Boston Bruins Foundation. Peter was at the Bruins vs. LA Kings game on Tuesday, December 17 and appeared on the jumbotron during the 2nd intermission!