By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Seven years ago, Nehemiah Davis started his first business: a fruit truck serving West Philadelphia. He was only 19 years old.READ MORE: District Attorney Larry Krasner, Mayor Jim Kenney Speak Out On Philadelphia's Ongoing Gun Violence Crisis
Soon after, his mother, Myra Grant, gave him a push that changed his life.
“She said, ‘You’re making money, son — we need to give back somehow,’ ” recalls Davis. “I was, like, ‘How?’ ”
Davis says he, his mom, and his twin sisters took $50 and made sandwiches to feed the homeless. Soon, the Nehemiah Davis Foundation was born.
“It felt so good that we haven’t stopped,” says Davis, now 26. “We’ve been feeding the homeless every Monday at 6:30(pm), at 18th and Vine.”
And their “giving” has grown. The nonprofit holds an annual Thanksgiving dinner for those in need, plus toy drives, diaper drives, peace rallies, and family fun days at local parks.
“In Malcolm X Park we gave away 400 brand-new, fully stuffed bookbags,” Davis says. “We had pony rides, horses, moon bounces. Anything you could think of, we had it, and it was free.”
This past March the foundation took 50 local kids on a ski trip to Spring Mountain that included ski lessons, snowboard lessons, and food — all for free.READ MORE: Habitat For Humanity Breaks Ground On Four Montgomery County Homes
“This may stop them from doing something violent, it may stop them from getting incarcerated, and it may open their minds to say, ‘I can do anything I want,’ ” says Davis.
When he’s not giving back, Davis is busy running his three businesses: Daviso Junk Removal, Myra’s Vitamin and Wellness Shop (myrasvitaminshop.com) and NeoDaviso (neodaviso.com), a clothing company that makes t-shirts with motivational quotes.
Davis — who graduated from Mathematics, Civics, and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia, and spent time at Neumann University and Community College — says he’s set his sights high. Raised by his mother and grandmother, he says he only does work he loves and does not let others limit his dreams.
“You have to dream big,” he says. “The only limits are those you acknowledge.”
For more on the Nehemiah Davis Foundation, go to www.nehemiahdavisfoundation.org.
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