The Greeley Tribune – by Trevor Reid
After living almost four months with little food and no electricity in a bus that constantly broke down, a family finally has a place to call home.
Virginia Kinch and her family helped the homeless family move into the Kinches’ old house in central Greeley on Saturday after the two families first met Thanksgiving night.
It started in September. Kinch was clearing out her basement and posting old things for sale on Craigslist. She started getting responses from single mothers and others who said they couldn’t afford to pay but would be happy to exchange work. Kinch had a better idea: “Take what you need.”
The generosity kept growing from there. On Thanksgiving, Kinch, with her husband and three teen girls, handed out meals to the homeless near the Kinches’ home in Longmont. They knew there were homeless people living in a bus behind a nearby gas station, but they were shocked to find a family that looked a lot like their own: a mother, a father and three little girls, ages 5, 14 months and 4 weeks.
“We fed them and went home and cried,” Kinch said. “And decided that we needed to do something.”
The Kinches decided they would give away their old house they had planned to rent or sell. They returned to the bus that night to make the offer. At first, the homeless family was in total disbelief. It wasn’t until Kinch contacted them the next day to repeat the offer that they accepted.
The Kinch girls were eager to help, even asking Virginia to return Christmas presents so they could provide more help. Virginia said it’s been a blessing to forego a Christmas of surplus for a Christmas of kindness.
“This is the best Christmas we’ve ever had,” she said.
The Kinches, with a handful of Longmont residents from Neighbors Helping Neighbors, gathered donations, furnished the house, stocked the pantries and even filled a playroom with toys for the three girls. Zachary Page, 11, of Longmont, was one of the volunteers. He helped hang stockings and keep an eye on the 14-month-old as she explored her new home. He said helping others comes natural to him.
“My mom and my dad raised me old-fashioned,” Zachary said. “Anywhere … if (people) need help, I’ll help.”
Virginia Kinch and her family helped a homeless family by giving them the Kinch’s old house. The Kinches also gathered donations of clothes, bedding, toiletries, furniture and more for the family. They require additional help to pay the mortgage and utilities, as well as additional living supplies, while the formerly homeless family gets back on their feet. If the Kinches can pull it off without issues, Virginia said, they plan to help another family.
To donate to their fundraiser, go to http://www.gofundme.com/helping-homeless-family-colorado.