Thomasville Times Enterprise

December 5, 2012

Family determined to help homeless

Natalie Fultz

THOMASVILLE — It’s Christmas time, a time to spend with family at home enjoying eachothers company and a time to open one too many presents. But for some, it’s a time where they won’t be going home for the holiday because there is no home to go to. It’s a time where there will be no family to share a lavish Christmas dinner with, and the only presents that are wanted are those to help survive another day.

Niki Hooks is determined to have every person extra merry this Christmas especially those who need it most: The homeless.

For the past four months, Hooks, a hairdresser at Mane Tamer, her husband and two sons, Tyler, 10, and Levi, 7, have been collecting blankets, jackets, hats and gloves for the homeless. Saturday Hooks will donate everything she has collected to those in need. “I just have a heart for homeless people,” Hooks said. “I started to see more and more homeless people as I made my way to work. I’ve seen people who I knew had been walking the entire night. It makes my heart break.”

At 5:30 p.m. at Jackson Square, the Hooks family will supply food such as soup, brownies and donuts along with the donations to the needy.

Hooks decided to begin this project as she saw the increase in homeless people in Thomas County. She wanted to teach her children the true meaning of Christmas. “My children have a good life, so I wanted them to see the other side where so many people struggle,” Hooks said. “They are a lot like me. They have a passion for helping others. This whole process has made them think about other people instead of themselves.”

Hooks is thankful for the donations she has already been given. “I just love people so much,” Hooks said. “It’s been amazing. A lot of people have done a lot of nice things for this.”

Hooks plans on making this a yearly tradition. “My goal is to change peoples lives and to love unconditionally,” Hooks said. “I just feel so sorry for them. They just need a hug, and they need to know that people love them and care about them.”

Donations are being accepted at Mane Tamer or by calling Hooks at 229.977.2372.

To find out more about the event, visit Love Warms The Heart on FaceBook.