•      Christmas may be over, but the donations to Jessie's Place of the Jimmie Hale Mission will help in the year to come.


         Christmas 2010 is now a memory.  But the gifts given to Jessie's Place this year will make a big difference in the coming year. 

         A local group, the Alabama Chapter of the International Interior Design Association, found out what a blessing it was to give to Jessie's Place, a shelter for women & children in Birmingham.  Jennifer Andrew who is with the group that organized this giving project said "I was shocked.  We have two van loads of stuff, and you hear the economy is bad, but people really dug deep this year."

    IIDA members Ellen Hawley, Tabitha Sequeira
    and IIDA president Ashley Handley
    unload their donations at Jessie's Place

         A group made up of architects and interior design businesses, also known as the IIDA, joined forces to collect items for the shelter.  Ashley Handley, the president of IIDA said "They give women a second chance.  Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and you want someone to help you... that's what Jessie's Place does."

         Jessie's Place is about renewing lives, and on that day with two van loads of things donated, it was a Merry Christmas at Jessie's Place.  According to Ashley Handley," We have over 32 companies that participated.  We have $700 in cash.  We have everything from jump drives to paper, clothing, everyday essential items - shampoo to diapers."

    IIDA member Jennifer Andrew
    brings in a donation

         According to Dr. Malissa Smitha, the director of Jessie's Place, "The donations that come to Jessie's Place are just huge blessings to so many homeless children and homeless mothers.  Basically, it's the way we provide for Christmas.  It's a wonderful gift to families who would otherwise not have anything."

    Some of the items donated by IIDA

         For people like Eulatine Burtrom, these donations make Jessie's Place a great place to start over.  According to Burtrom, "It's nothing I pictured a shelter to be.  Once you get in, it's a home away from home."

         Faith is what keeps the Christmas spirit in the hearts of those at Jessie's Place for both those giving... and for those receiving.

    From left to right:
    IIDA members Ellen Hawley and Laurel Brannon,
    ABC 33/40's Brenda Ladun, Jessie's Place Director Dr. Malissa Smitha,
    IIDA members Jennifer Andrew, Tabitha Sequeira,
    Ashley Handley (IIDA President) and Maria Casey


    Story courtesy of ABC 33/40. Click here for the original article. 


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