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Operation School Uniform: Marie to the rescue

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Posted at 8:47 PM, Aug 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-21 20:47:32-04

It`s an effort to help homeless kids who live in area shelters.

While their parents work to get permanent housing, there`s nothing left to get the kids clothing and supplies for the first day of class.

We asked viewers to take action and they did. One special lady also got results.

Marie Boyd slept in a tent at Todd Stadium last spring to bring attention to the homeless problem in Hampton Roads.

For a week, she collected donations for her small non-profit to reach out to a population often overlooked.

Marie was watching NewsChannel 3 when she saw the faces of children living in area shelters. She decided at that moment, the money she raised was going to make a difference for 'Operation School Uniform.'

"These people in a shelter with their children, it's hard enough for them to be in a shelter to begin with, but to have to worry about school supplies, so as soon as I saw that you were doing it Barbara, we had to join in,” Marie says.

Two families from the Dwelling Place Shelter met Marie for the first time at Walmart. She embraced them like they were old friends.

Each family tells a story that gives meaning to the expression, “There but for the grace of God go I.”  What happened to them could happen to anyone in this economy.

But on this day, Marie gave the moms a temporary reprieve from their worries. She would cover the bill for the back-to-school shopping. 

Myangel is going to pre-school this year and knew exactly what she wanted for the first day of school.

It was a relief and joy for Crystal to shop for her children with Marie; it gave her options she didn't think she would have for her kids.

"I think she is awesome, and it's a great thing that she is doing, and besides being homeless, this is one less thing I have to worry about,” says Crystal Ham.

Worry is what Lavita Graham wakes up to each morning at the shelter. She didn't expect to be shopping for her three teen girls. Her job doesn't pay enough to get them what they need.

At times, we couldn't tell who was happier about the back-to-school shopping, the moms or Marie.

"And she still wants to do more for people in the community. She's such a wonderful person,” says Lavita Graham.   

At checkout time, Marie paid out the cash that she raised at the tent fundraiser and hopes others will follow her lead.

"People were there and came to the tent to give money exactly for this purpose,” says Marie. "It's God's money. He just tells us what to do with it.”

We invite you to visit us here at our studios in downtown Norfolk to drop off your donations clothing or school supplies.  We have a box at the front desk waiting just for you.

Join us and take action to help! Donate to “Operation School Uniform”

Related: 

Donate: Operation School Uniform

Operation School Uniform: Marie Boyd

Operation School Uniform: The Davis Family

Operation School Uniform: The Barnes Family

Operation School Uniform – Items and clothing needed

Operation School Uniform: The Lowe family

Operation School Uniform: Taking action for local students