RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Homeless children don’t know what to expect when Christmas comes and for their parents, the holiday is another layer of stress and guilt.
A toy drive that’s really about more than toys. It’s the 10th year of Andre Neita’s effort to help Richmond area kids and families.
Lia Wallace is a fourth grade scholar whose speaking into existence the home she wants.
Wallace draws a picture of the home she wants to live in that has four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
“Being homeless. What is that like for a kid? Difficult. Complaining. Mad,” she says.
Her dad, Tracey, lost the family’s home after his wife’s stroke. She’s in rehab now.
Dreadful circumstances led father and daughter to a ‘Home Again' shelter. Her father is thankful for Home Again and says, “We stayed at people’s homes. We’ve stayed at churches and so forth. But that’s not what I wanted for her. I wanted security.”
This particular Home Again shelter is full. 30 homeless children and parents get services here to put them on course to climbing the steps in their own homes.
Wallace says “I’m grateful that somebody had an opportunity to give use somewhere to sleep at. No complaints. We don’t have to pay bills right now.”
The shelter maintains a large wall board with symbolic keys that represent families who are set to move into permanent housing. Until then, getting through the biggest holiday of the year is concerning.
Home Again’s program manager JoLinda Underwood says, “We don’t want them to miss out on being able to give their children something for the holidays. Putting a smile on their face, allowing them to be a child during the housing crisis.”
Professional Moving and Storage owner Andre Neita is getting help this year from Optima Health and Bang Bang Kick Boxing. Neita says, “We’re hoping to get sheets pots and pans jackets because it is getting cold. Shoes for the kids, underwear.”
Their goal is to collect at least 400 hundred toys and home items and supplies for all the homeless children at Home Again shelters.
Wallace is speaking that into existence also. She says, “All the children that’s homeless, they’re going to get presents. And it will happen. God always tells me you got to encourage other people.”
They need unwrapped toys, blankets, sheets, coats, diapers, and household items and supplies.
If you would like to help please drop off your donations for the Christmas Toy and Supply Drive at Professional Moving and Storage, 2209 Station Road, Richmond, Va. 804- 291-3543 or Bang Bang Kickboxing, 8435 Ellerson Drive A-4, Mechanicsville, Va. 804- 971-1786.