Small non-profits hope to make a big difference for families

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Non-profits across the Roanoke Valley are hosting toy drives and events to collect items to help families this holiday season. Organizations big and small are hoping to make a positive impact.

Ayesha Woodson, a single mother of two, is looking to put a smile on her kids faces this Christmas, which is why she came to the Hope Center for support.

"Being a single parent and doing everything on your own, financial wise, it gets tough," said Woodson.

This year, her kids are among the list of youngsters receiving gifts from the Hope Center. The non-profit is among several local organizations collecting clothes and toys to give to the community for free.

"We just want to take the stress off of being a parent especially this time of year, it gets cold, your heat bills and all your light bills go up and get more expensive. we just want to take the stress off of parents and make it easier this year for Christmas," said Grover Price, who runs the Hope Center and Cup of Hope Café.

This time of year, many people are familiar with the sounds and sights of other campaigns who receive recognition. However, smaller organization like the Hope Center and Military Family Support Centers Inc. are also making a positive impact. For instance, organizers with MFSC said before the holidays they spent more than $40,000 and fed roughly 22,000 individuals. They hope to help at least 18 families for the holidays.

Back at the Hope Center, Price said there are roughly 63 kids on their list. While his reach may not be as wide as other organizations in the community, the father of five saidhe hopes to touch as many families as he can.

"I know the struggles and face them every day myself. I just want to continue to help people. Know that they have hope and keep fighting," said Price.

On Friday, December 23, the Hope Center will host a holiday event as organizers will be giving away toys. There will also be free food and music. The event takes place from 6-9 p.m. at 506 11th St NW Roanoke Virginia.