The streets are a miserable place to be over the holidays or at any time of the year. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is happy to help homeless people in Hampton Roads by supporting a popular non-profit.
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers donated $1,000 to Virginia Beach-based Blankets for the Homeless in December.
It’s traumatic not to have a roof over your head at any time of the year. It’s particularly difficult over the holidays when temperatures drop and people are huddling up celebrating with their families.
Blankets for the Homeless is a local nonprofit. We also supported the 503 c 3 set up by Mariah Smith in our Facebook ‘likes’ campaign in 2016.
Homeless people in Hampton Roads over the holidays are close to Mariah’s heart. More than two decades ago on Christmas Eve, Mariah Smith was abandoned as a newborn baby.
Mariah is now 24. She set up Blankets for the Homeless as a teen. Mariah was adopted and brought up in a loving household but she later returned to the streets of Virginia Beach to help the homeless.
A Chance Encounter Led to the Creation of Blankets for the Homeless
When she was 17, Mariah was eating at a Sonic restaurant in Hampton Roads when she saw a homeless man nearby. He was shivering in the cold weather. Mariah pulled a blanket out from her car, collected the food she’d just ordered, and gave it to the homeless man.
The man pulled the blanket around him and started eating. The small act of kindness gave birth to the idea for Blankets for the Homeless. Mariah returned home and made a flier with her phone number on requesting donations of used blankets. Within a week, she handed out more than 300 fliers at oceanfront hotels, churches, and schools in Virginia Beach. She received 50 blankets in two days.
“Since then it has grown into so much more than blankets. It’s hats, gloves, hoodies, jeans, walking shoes, tents, toiletries, basically anything that the homeless community needs. The need is always there and it’s always great. It just changes as the weather does.”
As well as homeless people on the streets of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake or elsewhere, Blankets for the Homeless helps families who are living in transitory hotel accommodation and in their vehicles.
Mariah said many people are trapped in a downward spiral. By the time they get a job, they cannot afford enough money for a rental security deposit, remain on the streets, and often lose their jobs.
Blankets for the Homeless runs a stocking and toy event every year over the holidays. People in the community make stockings and fill them with toys. The nonprofit gives them to people who live on the street, and hotels and their children. Mariah said:
“It gives them a special Christmas that they would not have otherwise.”
We hope you can also support the homeless of Hampton Roads over the holidays and at other times of the year.