Local girl hopes to warm the bodies and hearts of the homeless

Family photo

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – While people are in the giving holiday spirit, nonprofits and charities do their best to bring in donations.

A sixth grade girl in Virginia Beach saw a need, and decided to do the same.

“I just wanted to give back to my community and people who are in need for this winter,” said Diamon Edmonds, who is collecting hats, scarves and gloves for people in need.

Two weeks ago, she told her mom about her idea.

Family photo

“I was 100 percent on board,” said Robinette Edmonds. “We do what’s called random acts of kindness, so I teach them to be charitable.”

Diamon says the idea started when she was riding down the street, looking out a car window.

“I see a lot of homeless people sitting on the corner,” she said. “I just felt the need to be able to give them something that they didn’t have.”

Robinette believes her daughter learned that kind of empathy when the family went through their own tough time a few years back, due to her then-husband losing his job just before the holidays.

She was the only one bringing in a paycheck, and all of it went to paying bills.

“We had a tree up, but there was nothing under the tree,” Robinette said.

One day, she walked into Diamon’s school, where the YWCA presented her with bags full of gifts for the entire family.

“Being laid on someone’s heart was a tremendous blessing,” she said. “I guess Diamon has seen that God has blessed us to come a long way, so she wanted to start doing this.

Robinette put out a call for donations on her Facebook page, and Diamon set a goal of collecting 200 items.

A week and a half later, Diamon had collected more than 120 items from friends, neighbors, and other people who saw her mother’s post.

So, she decided to increase her goal to 500.

“I want to collect as much as I can to give to as many people as I can.”

Diamon plans to donate the items to the YWCA, The Samaritan House and For Kids of Norfolk.

Robinette’s office agreed to collect donations at her Virginia Beach office. You can drop off new or gently used winter clothing items on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1612 Centerville Turnpike, Suite 310 in Virginia Beach.