NewsPay It Forward


Man Planning To Give Away ‘100 Hoodies’ To Homeless

Posted at 7:37 PM, Nov 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-01 21:20:49-04

ROCKFORD, Mich., —  Yago Williams moved to Grand Rapids from Washington D.C. and nearly ended up homeless.

“It was kind of a whim,” Williams told FOX 17 News. “[My friend] just called me and said, ‘hey, do you want to go to college?'”

Williams said that call led to a long bus trip to Grand Rapids to apply to Kendall College. Although, both Williams and his friend were accepted, they also received some bad news.

“That’s when we realized Kendall doesn’t have dorms,” he explained. “We thought we’d be able to sleep at the Greyhound Bus Stop… That’s when we kind of just started wandering the streets.”

After getting some help from a relative, the pair was able to spend a few nights in a hotel. Not long after, they found a landlord willing to take a chance on them. Even with a place to stay, Williams said being evicted was always a constant concern.

“We were pretty much planning on getting evicted any week,” he said. “Thank God we didn’t.”

Williams remembers that time like it was yesterday, but a lot has changed since being a struggling student in the late ’90’s. He now has a home, a family and a full-time job. And, he wants to use what he has to give back.

Williams launched a social media campaign with this Youtube video to raise money for 100 hooded sweatshirts. He’s working with Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids to help give the homeless an extra layer to stay warm this winter.

“When you’re in that situation, any help you appreciate, you appreciate anything,” said Williams. “I’m thinking that this will create some kind of ripple effect for people to make a difference, to see something and be so inspired to change that one thing that you have no choice but to be involved and make a difference.”

Williams is also using his Christian apparel line, Armor of the Lord, to make the giveaway possible. Each sweatshirt costs $25 dollars. Right now, Williams is about $150 dollars short of his total goal amount. He said any extra money will go toward buying hats and gloves to distribute as well.

If you’d like to help, donations can be made via PayPal by clicking here.

Donation checks can be also be made to Armor of the Lord and sent to 5174 Plainfield Ave. NE Grand Rapids MI 49525. You can write Hooded Sweatshirt Give Away in the memo portion of the check. You MUST write (Armor of the Lord) on the outside of the envelope to cut down on any confusion.

Williams hope to have all the money collected by November 11th.