• Atlanta boy's Valentine's Day campaign is touching homeless hearts across Georgia

    By: Kimberly Richardson


    ATLANTA - One Atlanta kid may be young, but boy does he have a huge heart.

    Charlie Plyler, a sixth grader at The Lovett School, is touching hearts across the state -- and now needs your help.

    Last February, Charlie and his father, David Plyler, were walking back to their car after a Hawks game when Charlie saw a couple of homeless people, huddling for warmth outside.

    Plyler said Charlie was absolutely heartbroken about the fact that not only did they have nothing -- they wouldn't be receiving a Valentine this month -- or maybe ever.

    "He turns to me and says, 'Dad, I know we can give them some money, but I feel we can do something even more ... we can show them love,'" Plyler said.

    Charlie's idea turned into something truly wonderful: Homeless at Heart.

    The charity has the premises of filling shoe boxes full of snacks and other necessities to give to the homeless -- with handwritten Valentine's Day cards inside to let them know they are loved.

    In 2015, Charlie was able to make more than 300 boxes within days, thanks to dozens of schools, families and organizations across the metro Atlanta area.

    Now in 2016, so far they've been able to make more than 1,800 boxes -- and that number continues to grow.

    Plyler said that number was made possible by "such an amazing Georgia community -- and even country wide, thanks to one Atlanta writer."

    Charlie met up with Hannah Brencher, founder of MoreLoveLetters.com.

    And thanks to Brencher and her community, Homeless at Heart received hundreds of Valentine letters and cards from all over the U.S., Canada, Australia and even Sweden.

    Now, here is where Charlie and Homeless at Heart need your help.

    Charlie visited homeless shelters such as Atlanta Mission and 7 Bridges to Recovery -- realizing that "there was way more demand than we could have ever understood."

    "Atlanta Mission has requested 650 boxes, 7 Bridges to Recovery has requested 110 for women and children, 400 for men and 700 for homeless under the bridges around the Bluff area," Plyler said. "Homeless shelters love this program because it shows their clients love on Valentine's Day and also has things in the box like water and socks that help them out at this time of the year."

    Wanting to help as many homeless people as possible, they've set up a GoFundMe account where people can help meet their goal.

    Charlie said they are going to exceed their goal of 2,000 boxes, but they may not be able to meet all of the demand from shelters.

    " His passion is contagious ... I am so proud of him," Plyler said.


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