The mission of Blankets for the Homeless started as founder Mariah Smith began handing out blankets and lunches to homeless communities in Virginia Beach. It quickly progressed into providing supplies like coats, ponchos, hats, gloves, shoes, tarps, tents, toiletries, seasonal clothes, and much more to areas in coastal Virginia.

Now, with a successful organization under her belt, Mariah is working on expanding her mission to help families who are living in cars or hotels, and cannot afford the burden of finding housing. She would like have the resources to cover application fees, credit check fees, and other nonrefundable housing expenses. And Mariah won’t stop there! She also plans to help with paying security deposits and turning on utilities. Mariah is making it her mission to help these families get the start they need so they are able to focus on feeding their families and saving money, instead constantly worrying about where they will sleep.

Blankets for the Homeless even hosts Christmas events that give children of homeless families a visit with Santa where they receive a stocking, a new toy, and food. This is something that these children would never get the chance to experience without heroes like Mariah. Born on Christmas Eve and abandoned, Mariah was fortunate to find her foster parents when she was 2 years old. She knows what it’s like to have an uncertain future and because of this she will give any security and reassurance that she can to families going through similar fates.

Hometown Heroes interviews Mariah Smith as the founder of Blankets for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization she started when she was 17 years old in 2011. Mariah travels around in her van distributing donated supplies to the homeless while developing long lasting relationships. A true Hometown Hero!

However, Mariah’s mission is not possible without the continued support of donated items and financial assistance. If you’re interested in learning more about Blankets for the Homeless or how you can donate, please visit their website or “like” and “share” their Facebook page: