“A year ago, the 20-year-old single mother didn’t have a job and was living with her boyfriend.
“When she needed a double stroller and car seats for her 3-year-old and newborn, she wasn’t sure where to turn.
“Enter Betsy Hardy, who organized a gift drive for the nonprofit StandUp For Kids last year. Her hook? A human-sized nest where people could pluck a tag with a name on it and drop off gifts and stockings. More than 50 homeless and at-risk children and young adults received presents through the drive – including Totianna, who got what she needed for her children. She asked that her last name not be published.
“Hardy is at it again this year with a big, cardboard snowflake displayed in the lobby of a bank building at the eastern end of Interstate 264 at the Oceanfront. People can pick up tags and deliver gifts through Friday.
“She chose StandUp For Kids because it helps children at the Oceanfront, where Hardy owns a business.
“StandUp For Kids was founded in 1990 in San Diego. The nonprofit outreach program, now in 17 cities, provides food, clothing and mentors for homeless people 24 years old and younger.
“The local chapter has a drop-in center in the resort area at the Oceanfront. It’s an upstairs room of a building a block from Atlantic Avenue. At the top of the stairs, there’s a sign-in sheet on a clipboard and a volunteer greeter. There are posters on the walls and games to play.”