Making Your Mark: Local resident needs help helping homeless families & children

13News Now LaSalle Blanks has the story

HAMPTON, VA (WVEC-TV) -- She's proof that kindness and compassion can go a very long way.

Hampton Roads resident Jammie Abbott has a big heart. For the last seven years, she's rolled up her sleeves and has taken it upon herself to try and help homeless families and children in Hampton Roads. 

She ended up changing lives. 13News Now has seen it firsthand.

We were with her at the beginning of last winter when she found a family living in their car in the Greeenbrier section of Chesapeake -- a mother and 3 children ages 8 to 18. Jammie was able to buy a hotel room for them to get them out of the cold. She also provided food and clothes thanks to donations from the community.

She runs a non-profit organization called Hotelkids.org. It's become her life's work. She relies on friends and family to help her.

"No one here takes a salary," Jammie said. "We do it because we care."

However, she now fears she may not be able to continue her act of kindness. She needs funds and a facility to store the donations she receives and she says having her own facility would allow her to have a place where the homeless can come and get the help they need. Sometimes, Jammie drives around several communities looking for people who my need help, based on phone calls and tips she receives from the community.

13News Now was with her one winter night when she got a tip about a homeless, pregnant teenager living in the laundry room of an apartment complex. Jammie spent a couple of hours trying to locate and help her. 

Jammie is concerned about this upcoming winter. She's worried that she may have to cancel this year's HotelKids.org Christmas Party because of a lack of funds and a facility. She says each year, she's able to give a gift of clothing or food to a few hundred kids, who otherwise, wouldn't get anything for Christmas.

She appreciates the love and support she gets from the community. Donations from residents and businesses keep her afloat. She says it lets her know she's making her mark and that whatever she sacrifices to show compassion and get the job done is worth it. 

"We've taken food from our own pantries," Jammie said. "I've maxed out my credit cards, anything to make sure they're safe and off the streets."

For more information, head to hotelkids.org or call  (757) 334-7103.


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