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Charlotte neighborhood raising money for Loaves and Fishes

“We wanted to do something different, but we wanted to benefit the world and give some inspiration and hope to people."

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A popular street in Charlotte, known for bringing joy and a big fundraising effort every Christmas, has found a new way to give back during the coronavirus crisis.

The signs sit outside the homes along Hillside Avenue and they say Hope Heals.

“We got the signs printed for free,” Ann Schmitt.

The signs have a heart around the globe.

“We wanted to do something different, but we wanted to benefit the world and give some inspiration and hope to people,” Ann Schmitt said 

Inspiring others is what they do on Hillside Avenue.  Every Christmas people pack Hillside Avenue to see the lighted balls hanging from the trees.

In December, WCNC Charlotte talked to Mason Schmitt.

“It started because the street made all these lights and decorations," Mason Schmitt said. "I just noticed all these cars driving and I just figured it would be really simple to turn it into something we could give back to the community."

She and her neighbors turned the Christmas lights into a food drive for Loaves & Fishes. In 2019 they donated more than 40,000 pounds of food.

Now Mason's mom and other organizers are hoping the signs will do the same. The signs encourage people to text Hillside to 44321 to donate money to Loaves & Fishes.

“Now more than ever people are going need food as they're out of work and Loaves & Fishes certainly is not going to have as many food drives,” Ann Schmitt said.

The local printing company Richa made 75 signs for free.  The neighbors bought them by pledging a donation to Loaves & Fishes and stuck them in their front yards.

“We came up with the globe with the heart because people are suffering around the word," Ann Schmitt said.  "We just wanted to give some hope and love.”

Because hope heals now more than ever.

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