Business partners launch ‘2 Days of Christmas Blessings’ to meet needs during pandemic
Multiple giveaways are scheduled for Dec. 19th and 20th.
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The holidays during a pandemic are proving to be a challenge.
A lot of families in Northeast Ohio have seen work hours reduced and bills stacking up, and are now wondering how they’re going to make Christmas special.
LaRese Purnell has had a front-row seat to some of the pain families are experiencing. His office is near the Greater Cleveland Food Bank where he’s seen long lines of people during the pandemic waiting to receive food.
“It really resonated with me that the need is greater than sometimes we get to see,” he said.
The “2 Days of Christmas Blessings” has children, families and senior citizens in mind.
“We want them to know they’re not forgotten about (and) that we’re here for them,” Purnell said. “That it takes a village to really raise families.”
Purnell teamed with The Real Black Friday, Chef Eric Rogers of The Black Box Fix restaurant, Orlando Crenshaw from Infiniti of Beachwood and Meltrice Sharp with CLE Marketing Firm to help spread joy to those who could really use a boost.
A total of six giveaways are planned starting Dec. 19 with a raffle for a two-year paid lease of a 2020 Infiniti QX60 SUV.
“Someone is going to roll off that parking lot with a brand new 2020 Infiniti SUV, white with the black interior,” Purnell said.
The raffle is helping to support the other giveaways.
Happening Dec. 19:
- Car Giveaway/Raffle - Infiniti of Beachwood
- Grocery Giveaway - Surprise Location
- Victims of Violence Shopping Spree - Target
Happening Dec. 20:
- Turkey and Christmas Dinner Giveaway
- Senior Living Building Blessing - Surprise Location
- Corner 65 Gift List Delivery
The team has been busy identifying recipients. The shopping spree at Target is for those who’ve experienced live-changing tragedy.
“We have chosen some kids in the community who’ve either lost a parent or a family who’s lost a spouse to the acts of violence in our community,” Purnell said.
A group of seniors will be blessed with much needed financial relief. Their January rent will be paid.
Another group of children with the Corner 65 program in Cleveland will have gift lists fulfilled. Purnell said the children informed them of several items they’d like and will be also receive a few surprises.
The volunteers were taken back by some of the kids’ requests that really put into perspective their compassion, maturity and the times we find ourselves in due to the pandemic.
“Two of the kids asked for things to bless their parents with. And another child asked for a job,” Purnell said. “And then the other thing that blew me away was everybody wanted a set of headphones. (It’s) things we don’t think about (with remote learning). If they have four or five siblings that are in the home, you have dogs that are in the home or you may have a lot people living in your home, the distraction that causes, so they can’t even focus on their education. They didn’t ask for AirPods. They asked for headphones, and they made sure they said that.”
The deadline to buy raffle tickets for the SUV is 12 p.m. on Friday Dec. 18. More information can be found here.
Purnell is thankful for his team of small-business partners and the community.
“It’s always amazing; the generosity of our community. I’m so blessed that people have the trust they have within us, that they know when we say we’re going to do something we do it.”
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