UVA student gives back to Charlottesville families in need for the holidays

Makayla Peabody’s inspiration stems from her single mother

While families across the county feasted this past week, one UVA student made sure Charlottesville families had enough to eat on Thanksgiving.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – While families gather to feast across the country, one University of Virginia student makes sure families in Charlottesville have enough food to celebrate during the holidays.

Isabel Cleary with NBC 12 introduces us to Makayla Peabody and the inspiration behind her tradition of giving back this time of year.

“I have everything I ever could want or need in life and so it just didn’t feel right to continue having this life of everything that I want for myself but not give back,” said Makayla Peabody, third year at UVA.

Peabody posted in the online group “Mutual Aid C’ville” with the goal to find families who needed help for the holidays.

“Within minutes I had tons of different families reaching out to me and I’m going to be helping all of them. I didn’t just limit it to two, there’s no way I could. I just wasn’t. I just can’t say no to them,” she explained.

She helped two families for Thanksgiving, and as of now, eight for Christmas.

“I’m also making some homemade mac and cheese. It’s in my fridge right now. And I also make green bean casserole and then I’m making an apple pie and a pumpkin pie for both of the families as well,” she said.

Her passion for giving back is inspired by her mom.

“I know it’s hard, like, my mom has always been a single mom. And there’s been times where it’s been a struggle to you know, provide, you know, an awesome life and to do all the things that you see, like mom’s doing,” Peabody said.

But that struggle has only pushed her to do more.

“It just makes me happy to know that I can give what I used to have as a kid the turkey, the stuffing, the potatoes, the bread, all of that and more.”

She hopes to continue giving back each year.

“I’m going to be helping 17 kids all by myself, which I’m super happy about. But getting all of the messages coming in, I am starting to think like I would love to start some sort of nonprofit organization or something of some kind to be able to help all these families,” she said.

If you are interested in helping Peabody support the families for Christmas, you can contact her on Facebook.