To volunteer with The Faith Project, go to www.thefaithprojectinc.org
Christmas came early for the men, women and children who receive assistance from The Gateway Shelter and Gwinnett Children’s Shelter from The Faith Project. The nonprofit organization held its second annual Christmas in July event in Decatur to renew the spirit for the homeless of Atlanta.
The Faith Project was founded by Lakeisha Johnson, who has always been an active volunteer. “I started the nonprofit as a way to give back and do more for those less fortunate in our communities. The goal is to make a true difference throughout the community and for those in need.” she said.
Christmas in July is just one of those efforts that is growing bigger by the year making a difference. In its second year, the event included a traditional Christmas meal, wrapped presents, holiday music, and Santa Claus. In addition, the event offered free haircuts and beautician services and a mini photo shoot for over 50 people.
“We observed how the homeless are especially underserved during the summer months and decided to host this community event to bring a little joy into their lives,” added Johnson.
College friends with Johnson, Samantha Moxey providing all hair services through her salon ATL Beauty Bar. “When Lakeisha told me of Christmas in July, I had to be involved,” said Moxey. “To make people feel beautiful is something we do, and if we can extend the same feeling to those in need it totally makes the experience worth it.” ATL Beauty Bar provided haircuts, manicure/pedicures, massages, and makeup services.
The volunteer-run Faith Project focuses on outreach, housing, prevention and education for the homeless, and has been growing since it launched in 2011. “Volunteers run this organization, and make all our efforts possible,” said Johnson. Through various efforts such as the Feed the Street Initiative held on Saturdays and Re-Shop Boutique, a store open for the general public that also closes once a month for makeovers for homeless men and women.
Sharice Haynes benefitted from the volunteer-run organization and its efforts. “I got my hair done, got a massage and my children also had a wonderful time,” said Haynes. “It was a really nice event that made people feel good. It really meant a lot.”
In other news: Emirates Airlines and U.S. Tennis Association donated tennis equipment and experiences to the youth of YMCA Metro Atlanta on July 24. Emirates and USTA also hosted tennis clinics during the event which was held during the BB&T Atlanta Open.