Petersburg woman embodies true holiday spirit

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — From the outside looking in, it’s easy to tell that the woman living in one particular Petersburg home loves Christmas.

The home is decorated on the outside with Christmas ornaments, on the inside a huge mission is underway.

Six years ago Petersburg resident Kim Winston started to collect items and then give it all away to people in need on Christmas Day.

This year Winston’s mission of providing clothes, toys and toiletries to Petersburg residents continues, and she has a plan for it to be even bigger than last year.

With donations and support from corporations and individuals, Winston collected items and served about 350 people last year. This year she hopes to give away necessities like clothes, food and toiletries to at least 400 people.

However, Winston’s selfless story of community service started after she received some bad health news. In 2010 Winston was diagnosed with breast cancer. Right after her diagnosis Winston decided that she would try to help others even though she was in need herself.

“Even though I don’t have stuff to give, when I do that it, makes me feel good that somebody else has stuff,” said Winston.

Her Christmas gift drive has grown significantly over the years and this is one of the main reasons why she looks forward to Christmas.

“It’s really the people that do it I just organize it and get it together as for me I don’t have the funds to do none of that I just have the mouth to beg for it,” said Winston.

Winston is currently in the process of collecting items and organizing them for a giveaway on Christmas Day, something she’s done six years in a row.

Anyone who is in need of necessities such as coats blankets or other items can arrive at the Hope Center at 827 Commerce Street in Petersburg from 12 noon to 2 p.m. on Christmas Day. No prior registration is necessary.

If you would like to donate items to help Winston help others, you may call her at 804-862-2909 or contact Shiloh Baptist church at 804-590-2089.

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