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BLACKWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — A young woman from the Philadelphia area has made it her mission for the last three years to make sure that those in need have winter essentials to get them through the cold season. Angela Cimorelli’s neighbor, 27-year-old Danielle Williams of Blackwood, N.J., teams up with her father during the holidays to distribute the accessories that she has made throughout the year.
Danielle makes the hats and scarves out of wool that she knits on a loom — a skill she learned from her grandmother that is now serving the community with a “Hats for the Homeless” mission. In the last three years, hundreds have received the items to help keep the warm.
“I began making hats on a loom because I can make a lot with that,” Danielle tells Eyewitness News. “I’ve had a lot of people donate to me yarn, hats, scarves, you know, everything.”
Now, Danielle is thinking even bigger. This year, she’s also made scarves and bought hundreds of pairs of gloves to go with the hats that she will hand out.
Beyond that, she and her father will also make breakfast sandwiches and bring water bottles to give to homeless people alongside the winter gear on Christmas morning.
Cimorelli was so impressed by the selflessness of her neighbor and the tradition that she’s begun that she plans to take part in it with her family this year.
It’s not just her friends and family that are touched by the sincere offerings. Even people that have received donations from her in the past still keep them close by.
“While distributing the hats they came across a homeless man that was still wearing his hat she made from last year. Her dad said it brought tears to his eyes, that this man still had her hat,” an astonished Cimorelli adds.
The actions of her neighbor were also so inspiring to her that Cimorelli has joined the movement by offering customers at her own business a discount for bringing in a gently-used coat.
If that’s not moving enough, the Danielle also bought out a Goodwill so that she can provide coats and blankets to those in need.
“She is a wonderful example of what a selfless human being looks like,” Cimorelli says. “We need more people like her in this world.”
She hopes the story of her caring neighbor will inspire others as well. “Especially during the holidays when some are forgotten,” Cimorelli adds.
Williams tells Eyewitness News that she has already received four to five bags of donated coats from people interested in her charitable mission.
“It’s fantastic. The amount of people it’s going to make people happy… It’s just amazing. I couldn’t wrap my head around the amount of people it’s going to bring so much joy to,” Danielle said.
For those interested in taking part or donating, Danielle can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.