Toys, household items being collected for Home Again Shelter families

How you can help homeless families this holiday

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - To make a difference in a child’s life at Christmas consider picking up a few gifts for a homeless family. Every toy received will end up in the hands of a homeless child. Every household item you donate benefits families as they prepare to move into their own home.

Residents at Home Again Shelter are the beneficiary of the toys and household supplies you give. Home Again Shelter has many success stories of families once with no home living house to house or on the streets now paying rent at their own place.

“It’s been a year that I’ve been in my place,” Tracy Wallace said.

They were in a dreadful place after his wife’s stroke a little more than a year ago.

“It was an adjustment because you were homeless. So, it was like reality sets in. Other than that, when you get out of that phase you kind of (think) this is home. This was home once upon a time and we appreciate it,” Wallace said.

Home Again took away certain stresses which enabled him to focus on his steps forward and not the setback. Wallace recalls his daughter Lia’s excitement.

“My daughter said ‘I got a bed.’ It takes a load off you when you can get your furniture and beds. Having a group an organization that helps you get ahead that was great. Andre is awesome," Wallace said.

Professional Moving and Storage owner Andre Neita is getting help again this year from Bang Bang Kick Boxing owner Francois Ambang. He’s offering a free class to people who stop by the gym and bring unwrapped toys and new clothes. Their goal is to collect 600 toys and other items.

“Household items, jackets, items for families in transition, sheets, pots pans, dishes. Things that we take for granted are the things that these families need,” Neita said.

“We are really grateful to Andre and the people who follow his lead to donate because it’s really life-saving for families,” Home Again Executive Director Lorae Ponder said.

“My main goal is to have my family all in one home and my wife home from the nursing home,” Wallace said.

These are the two drop-off spots: Professional Moving and Storage on Station Road in Richmond and Bang Bang Kickboxing on Ellerson Drive in Mechanicsville.

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