“If the kids need something and I’ve got it, I give it to them. If you come over here and it’s lunchtime, I’ll feed you. If I cook dinner and I got enough and you’re over here playing with my kids, I’ll tell you to come on here and get you a plate. I might not can give you a whole lot, but I can give you something to put on your stomach and I can give you something to drink. If I can’t do anything else, I can do that.
“You’ve got children around here who don’t have anything to start school with, so every year another parent and I set up in that field over there by the store and make sure they have what they need. Last year we sold donuts door to door in different neighborhoods, had a fish fry, put on a little carnival, and put the money we made into an account. We let it build up, we bought book bags and coats, and then we went to Dollar Tree and got crayons, pencils, spiral notebooks, composition books, and all the folders we could get. Last year we gave away supplies to 50 children in kindergarten through the fifth grade. Later on in the year when it got cold outside, I saw kids walking to school with short pants on, and no jacket and no hat, so I went to Dollar Tree and bought a box of hats. I sat out there one day at the stop sign at Morehead and Chelsea where they cross the street and passed out hats and gloves. Even though I haven’t worked in a while because of health issues, my husband supports me in the things that I do because he sees that I’m trying to help and give back. I told him, ‘Don’t be mad at me. I’m giving these to some kids that I know need it.’ And they appreciate it. All the kids around here, if they’re walking and they see me, they come over here and hug me and say ‘Hey, Mrs. Smiley, how you doing? Love you!’
“It’s hard to buy for so many. One idea I had was to put a box out at different places and ask for coats, jackets, and hats that people are not using. It’s going to get cold in a few months, and the kids are going to need them. They’re going to need socks and gloves too.”