Laura Smith informed local Historic City News reporters that St. Augustine’s beloved Ms. Carrie Johnson, a well-known community supporter and a resident of Lincolnville, is working to deliver a VISA gift card to each of the county’s 329 homeless children before school breaks for the holidays on December 17th.
The program, “Love Gifts,” has caught the attention of a growing group of parents, businesses, agencies and St. Augustine residents. The group is now working toward a goal of $5,000 in donations to fund Love Gifts.
In a letter to generate support for the program, Ms. Carrie writes, “What can we, the folks in our community, do to at least give a ‘Love Gift’ to our homeless children? [The idea] is to encourage our homeless children to realize that they are precious jewels who have not been forgotten.”
Community support for Love Gifts has been positive and is gaining momentum. On December 4th, the Fountain of Youth Spa and Laser Center opened its doors for a special fundraiser and donated all proceeds and tips for the day to Love Gifts, raising over $1,400 in five hours.
This Saturday, a group of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and St. Augustine High School musicians is hosting a benefit party featuring local high school bands to collect money. A young man from Bartram Trail High School is well on his way to reaching his collection goal of $500, and the kids of Murray Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society are having a collection drive.
Love Gifts sponsors include The Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County, The St. Johns County School District, St. Johns Printing and the Lincolnville Community Association.
To donate, please send a $10 VISA gift card or a check to The St. Johns County School Board, 40 Orange Street, St. Augustine, FL, 32084, attention Mr. Raymond Randolph. Donations will be accepted through December 14th.