People Taking Action: Virginia Beach Free Will Baptist Church

For Mariah Smith and her mom it’s a busy routine at their Virginia Beach home—making 60 lunches nearly every night and loading them into their van, along with blankets and clothes for the homeless.

Mariah and her mom always find a receptive crowd outside the Lighthouse Shelter near the oceanfront.

We first shared Mariah’s story earlier this year, telling you this is not her first time making the news.

We showed video of her 18 years ago at a news conference when Norfolk Social Services was trying to locate her parents after she was left at a hospital. 

Mariah was abandoned at birth. She was later adopted and she says that’s helped shape who she is now.

 I asked her, why it’s important to night after night help the homeless?  “I just feel it’s really important to help people around me.”

Mariah, who’s now a freshman at Tidewater Community College has been spending her evenings like this for about a year.

And the amazing thing is, Mariah starts her morning at 5 oclock getting ready to help the homeless before she goes to TCC and then after classes in the evenings she’s hard at work helping the less fortunate.

But recently some vandals broke into their van parked outside their home one night. Mariah– just couldn’t understand that.”

And they even ate items out of the lunches that we were making for the homeless it broke our hearts and we couldn’t believe it – they took a lot of things we needed.”

A local church is taking action for Mariah. The teenager’s efforts caught the attention of Virginia Beach Free Will Baptist Church. This past week they held a stuff the bus charity drive and collected food, clothes and blankets for Mariah’s charity.

The church also has collection boxes set up around the church to accept items for the homeless. Plus once a month church members get together and make a hundred lunches and collects blankets for Mariah’s charity, which is why we presented church members with a People Taking Action Award along with a $100.00 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.

Fore more information on Mariah’s charity “Blankets for the Homeless” check out her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/desmiller/posts/4244779830059#!/pages/Blankets-for-the-Homeless-Hampton-Roads/184687141635463?fref=ts

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