Shelter collecting toys, household items for homeless families this Christmas

Home Again Toy Drive

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The push is on to collect as many new toys and household items as possible for homeless children and their families at HomeAgain Shelter.

Your gifts boost spirits and build confidence. You can give knowing that every toy will end up in the hands of a homeless child and every household item donated will help families as they prepare to leave the shelter and move into their own homes.

HomeAgain Shelter gave Patricia Hill and her 12-year-old son, Daniel, someplace better she says than being outside.

“I’m on dialysis and they accepted me and they took care of me and my son, and I was homeless and I didn’t have no one. It feels good when you’ve got your own place. You don’t have to look for a place to live tonight. It feels good,” Hill said.

Daniel and his mom left the shelter and moved into their own apartment about a year and a half ago. HomeAgain helped her get a grip on life by providing temporary shelter, resources, counseling and a steady hand through difficult times like the holidays.

“He got Hot Wheels cars. He still collects them. He didn’t open them up. He still collects them. They gave us Christmas stuff. They gave us beautiful things, and I appreciate it because I couldn’t afford to give them anything," Hill said.

“People who aren’t able to do this for their children still have pride in being parents and want to do things for their children. Having the community come in and pitch a hand and care about them really is impactful,” HomeAgain Shelter Executive Director Lorae Ponder said.

HomeAgain is forever grateful to Andre Neita, who organizes the toy-supply drive and has now made the homeless shelter the beneficiary. Neita is teaming up again with Bang Bang Kick Boxing. The two companies collect your donations and deliver them in time for Christmas.

“Parents need to also see that sparkle in their children’s eyes on Christmas Day. What we’re trying to do is help. Help the community,” Neita said.

The owner of Bang Bang Kick Boxing, Francois Ambang, encourages those who have - to give and says, “It’s always a blessing coming your way when you give to other people.”

Neita says this year’s goal is to collect and deliver 600 toys, along with other necessities.

"Suits to wear to job interviews. Coupons for hair cuts,” Neita said.

The toy-supply drive is accepting new, unwrapped toys for girls and boys - bikes, blankets, arts and crafts, electronics, sheets, diapers, towels, pots, pans, clothes, household items and supplies.

The two drop-off locations include Professional Moving and Storage on Station Road in Richmond and Bang Bang Kickboxing on Ellerson Drive in Mechanicsville.

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