Once homeless, now donating and volunteering - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Once homeless, now donating and volunteering

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Hoover, AL -

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A Hoover man and a team of volunteers are working on gifts for the less fortunate. Monday night, they prepared gift bags to pass out to the Magic City's homeless.

The spirit of giving took place in Ronald Sellers' garage. On each table there's something to help people living on the streets." If we could just change one person's life, it make all the difference in the world."

Ronald Sellers and his late wife Kim started a Christmas giveaway for the homeless 11 years ago. "For me, it's very emotional because I know that was me. For me to see these other guys, I want to give them hope."

This successful businessman can relate. "I was homeless a year and a half and lived in all of the missions in downtown Birmingham."

That was more than 20 years ago - but he remembers the hardships. He now helps as many homeless as possible.  Sellers says, "It's more than giving them the items. For me, it's me wanting to reach out to help them to get to a better place in life."

Family and friends helped collect donations like hats and socks, they even brought in toys for homeless children.  Jeanine Owsley "I'm honored to be able to take part in such an important event as this and to have the opportunity to give back in such a big way."

These young volunteers helped put several items in bags to make Christmas a little warmer and brighter.  Amber Roper says,  "I think it's nice to give back to the homeless who don't have what I have."

It's one day of giving, but Sellers wishes for more. "We could do more than just offer them a band-aid. We need to offer them surgery. We need to give them a way out." We need to have a way where people can come in and learn a skill, be held accountable."

Sellers plans on passing out the bags here at Linn Park around 10:30 Christmas Eve morning. He will then go under bridges, looking for those who could benefit from a helping hand.

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