LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

VIRGINIA BEACH-Volunteers are preparing another load of warm blankets and food for the homeless in Va. Beach.

The project, Blankets for the Homeless Hampton Roads, is the brainchild of 19-year-old Mariah Smith. She started the program two years ago to meet the needs of people on the streets who can't get into a shelter.

'I was born and abandoned on Christmas Eve 19 years ago and my foster mother adopted me. I feel so fortunate and blessed to have that love and security when my future was so uncertain, so I just want to do everything I possibly can to give back to the community,' she said while pausing from folding blankets at Free Will Baptist Church on Monday.

Mariah's mother is proud of what her daughter has accomplished. 'She speaks at school, businesses, organizations, churches encouraging thousands of people to donate. So we've been able to distribute more than 40,000 blankets, lunches, jeans, hats, coats, gloves and more,' she said.

On Thanksgiving, the group will help provide food for 30 homeless teens in Virginia beach.

For more information , check out blankets for the Homeless Hampton Roads on Facebook.

Read or Share this story: http://www.wvec.com/story/news/local/mycity/virginia-beach/2014/09/10/14838508/