Mother, daughter help homeless with gloves
Updated: January 29, 2013 11:55AM
EVANSTON — A charity started by a Waukegan-based military mother and her 9-year-old daughter has raised enough money to purchase more than 600 pairs of gloves that were distributed to the homeless in Evanston and Waukegan.
The charity, Poms4Palms, was born from a simple question the young Serenity Williams asked her mother Sheree Williams after they moved to northern Illinois from Florida last fall, along with her 4-year-old brother Felipe Jr. Williams.
Sheree, an Evanston native on active military duty, moved her family to Waukegan several months ago after being re-stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes.
She brought Serenity to help volunteer at a Waukegan soup kitchen one day when the fourth grader asked how homeless people living in Illinois stay warm in the winter, her mother said.
That question sparked the idea for Poms4Palms, and together Sheree and Serenity launched their charity, which raises money from the sale of colorful pom pom accessories that are affixed to shoelaces.
Handmade by Serenity, the pom poms are sold for $1, and over a three-month period the 400 pairs she made by hand helped raise more than $1,000 (in addition to donations).
The money was used in December to purchase 618 pairs of gloves to help keep the homeless warm this winter.
“We knew we weren’t going to be able to provide an entire winter weather ensemble to each homeless person, but we wanted to do something to help,” Williams said. “(Serenity’s) Grandma made poms for Converse shoes, and we thought it would be a cute idea to do this.”
The distribution events will took place Dec. 21 at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Evanston Community Center and at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Waukegan.
The remaining gloves were sent to the East Coast to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.
“I think there’s a big difference between dreaming about an idea and then actually being able to see something tangible happen,” Williams said. “It’s been a wonderful experience for us to raise money by making these poms, and then seeing the final product of our work—that’s the best reward.”
To donate to Poms4Palms, vsit www.poms4palms.com/default.html.