Florence fundraiser helps children in homeless shelters


FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – The Community Times and the Alliance for Youth is sponsoring Celebrity Santas for Hearts for the Homeless at the City Center.

Local celebrities will be dressing up as Santa, and raising money for children in the homeless shelters this Christmas.

“Christmas is a very difficult time,” said House of Hope Executive Director, Bryan Braddock. “Especially for children, and it’s not their fault that they’re in that situation.”

Braddock said it’s a great time of the year for the community to donate to people in need.

“We want to make sure that Christmas is magical no matter if you’re in a shelter or in your home with your family,” he told News13.

The proceeds from the event will go toward buying Christmas presents for the children in need.

Roberta Mcelveen is a mother of seven who recently had to move into the shelter.

“I lost my job, lost my house,” she said. “Of course it’s been hard, but with the shelter’s help we’re getting through.” 

Mcelveen said she’s grateful to everyone who donated so her children can have presents this year.

“I want to thank everyone who donated, and gave from their hearts because it means a lot,” said Mcelveen. “I appreciate those who put others first at this time because they could’ve put their family first, but they’re thinking about others at this time.”

Individuals can have their pictures taken with Santa for a monetary donation, or donate a new toy or new clothing items.

Friday in the City Center there will be three Santas at the following times:

  • Les Echols of the Florence Chamber of Commerce from 10am until 11:30am
  • Bo Myers of  Whosoever Will 12:00 noon until 2:00pm
  • Bryan Braddock of House of Hope from 2:30pm until 4:30pm.

This Saturday, as well as next Saturday evening, Councilman Al Bradley will be at Jazz on Dargan.

Additional locations include Ambrias Gardens, Soule Cafe and Nubian Brothers Barbershop. Times of other Celebrity Santas location visits will be announced later.

Other Celebrity Santas include Rev. Merritt B. Graves, former City Councilman, Bobbie Hill, Tyron Jones, City Councilman, Glynn Willis, Rev. Dr. Calvin Robinson, Florence City Police Lt. Drulis and Quinton D. Smith. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending stories