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Portsmouth woman behind donation giveaway program says she needs help to keep the initiative going

Shirley Janney has helped people in her Portsmouth community for years through her "Blessed Hands" program. She gives away free clothing and baby supplies.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A Portsmouth woman who's helped her community for years, says she now needs the community's help to keep her program going.

Shirley Janney gives away free baby supplies and clothing to families in need.

She's moving into a new building and needs donations to make that possible. 

"I've never charged for anything; I've never turned anybody away," Janney said. "When I tell them that everything's free - they drop their mouths, they're like 'What!'"

Her Blessed Hands program started in 20-16 with two bags of clothes and shoes for families in need.

It's grown steadily; She's helped hundreds of families, giving away everything from small household appliances, to toys, to baby supplies.

"We do formula, wipes, baby food, diapers, we do clothing for men and women," she said. 

People donate the items for her to give away. Sometimes it's a drop-off, other times she picks it up.

"I have to borrow a car because I don't have a car of my own - I can't afford one," Janney said. "I took my stimulus money and I bought this beautiful shed with it."

But the shed where she stores the donations is temporary. She's outgrown this property and has plans to move into a new storefront, next weekend.

"I had a sponsor that paid for the building for us, that we're moving into," Janney said. "But I am going to be responsible for the electric and the water every money and so I really need help. I need lots of help."

They have a GoFundMe effort set up to help raise funds for their move.

She's helped the community for years, but now the shoe is on the other foot. She has new bills to pay, so she's looking for donations.

"Cash donations to take care of that every month," she explained.

The donations will help keep this neighborhood giveaway going, especially at a time when so many are in need.

"People that come here we want them to know that they're important enough to have nice stuff, too," she said.

If you'd like to donate money or items, or if you need help, you're asked to do so through their GoFundMe page, or by contacting Blessed Hands at 619-592-5084. You can call the number or send a text message.

Right now, they are looking for winter clothing and coats. The biggest needs are diapers, formula, and toys.

You can also join the Blessed Hands Facebook group for updates and information.