Although the holiday season is officially over, we wanted to share the story of an inspiring non-profit organization that spreads the spirit of giving hope and generosity all year long. Virginia-based Blankets for the Homeless provides blankets, hats, coats, clothes, shoes, tents, toiletries, backpacks, seasonal items, and lunches to the homeless population in the coastal Virginia area. What sets the organization apart from other noble causes is founder Mariah’s amazing story. Born and abandoned on Christmas Eve twenty years ago, this formerly homeless young woman has set out to inspire and serve thousands. After giving a blanket and food to a homeless man outside a local restaurant, the then-teenage Mariah became motivated to help others by providing basic essentials for the many people who live on the streets and are unable to find help in homeless shelters.

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From speaking on a weekly basis to church congregations regarding her non-profit — to handing out blankets, clothes, and food five nights a week, to meeting with schools, businesses, and other organizations to spread the word, Mariah and Blankets for the Homeless have worked tirelessly for the past few years, and their work has paid off. More than 80,000 blankets and lunches have been given to the needy via their efforts! Additionally, recent distributions have included more than a thousand backpacks and filled Christmas stockings. Blankets for the Homeless is truly a family affair, with most of the sorting, lunch-making, and distributing of items being accomplished by Mariah and her mother. You can check out the inspiring organization’s Facebook page for updates and pictures or to donate money to their cause.

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+ Blankets for the Homeless