Help local High School students enjoy Christmas

Buy a present for those that need a little boost.

For that last few years Alia Butler who works with local high schools as organized a holiday gift program to help homeless students. In her own words she tells you about the program and how you can help. The deadline (December 6th) is fast approaching so don’t wait too long.

It’s that time of year again and we are kicking off the holiday gift program for students who have experienced homelessness during this school year. Richmond Public Schools identified 1,700 students experiencing homelessness last year. Through this holiday program we will serve the homeless students, and their families, from George Wythe High School, Huguenot High School and Armstrong High School. I believe we as a community can help fill the holiday wishes of these students. Last year, we had a very successful holiday program, but I hope to fulfill even more wishes this year and with your help I believe we can make this happen.

To let you know how much this means to my students– Here is a recent note I received from a mom about this program. “Me and my family greatly appreciate everything this community has done for us we are deeply in debt to you all!! You are truly our guardian angel and we are super blessed to have you apart of our lives.”

By giving these gifts you are not only providing Christmas, you are letting these students know there is a community of people out there who care about them and don’t want to see them left behind!

The gift requests range from simple clothing items to electronics. So, even if you may not be able to afford a larger item I think there is something for everyone! There are a number of ways you can become involved. If you would like to simply provide one gift or a couple of gifts you can either email me directly and I will email you a master list of gift requests or you can visit Taza once the tree is up next week and pick a wish from the branches!

If you are extra ambitious you can adopt a student or a whole family and fulfill all their gift requests. If you are interested in adopting an individual student or family please email me and I will gladly allow you to pick a family! I can be reached at

The deadline for the wrapped gifts will be Saturday, December 6th! (Sorry everyone about the early deadline…I have an extra personal deadline this year as I am pregnant and due on December 11!! Thanks for the understanding!

Thank you for all your support!! A number of other opportunities are available for community members to become personally involved with these students throughout the year. Please feel free to email me if you are interested in any of these opportunities or check out!

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Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

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