WDRB UPDATE: VOA gets $15,000 worth of donations from community - WDRB 41 Louisville News

WDRB UPDATE: VOA gets $15,000 worth of donations from community

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Many in the community were surprised to learn about 12,000 homeless students in Jefferson County Public Schools.

10-year-old Dennis Burrage has a new toy helicopter and loves playing his new Wii game -- all gifts from Camp Taylor Elementary School and the community.

A lot has happened in the last month after Dennis told his story about being one of 12,000 homeless JCPS students.

Dennis says, "Two ladies, they decided to come to the school. I guess they saw the interview and bought a few things and gave them to me."

About a week ago, Dennis and his father Frank moved into transitional housing at the Volunteers of America Family Emergency Shelter.

Dennis says, "I think it's pretty cool. The last time I saw it, I only saw it in the door, so I didn't know it had the extra room."

Their larger room has a sleeping area for Frank and bunk beds for Dennis. It's a huge improvement from the tiny room they shared when they first moved to the shelter.

At the time, they only had enough belongings to fit in two small bags.

VOA Spokeswoman Jenny Rectenwald says the outpouring from the community after hearing about Frank and Dennis has been overwhelming.

It's helping not only them, but all 25 of the homeless families and about 50 children here. People are sending in checks and donating online from Louisville and surrounding areas.

Rectenwald says, "We are still tallying those results because they have been coming in everyday. But we know in kind, the gifts, the gift cards, coats and those things, we're estimating it at $15,000 right now and that is a significant increase over recent years."

As Frank and Dennis continue to save more money, they're hoping to move out and have their own place.

Frank says, "We're shooting for somewhere in January, gonna shoot for that. The job I was doing was seasonal, it kind of dwindled out. So, I'm in the process of looking for another one.

Frank is still hoping to get a full-time permanent job soon. He's waiting for an interview at Ford.

When asked about the community outpouring, Dennis says, "I just want to thank them for all the stuff they gave me."

Frank says, "It's wonderful. It kind of chokes me up a little bit, but it's not only community, it's VOA -- they've been wonderful to us."

As families move out of the shelter, the need for the homeless continues.

VOA is still collecting warm winter items and toiletries. You can drop those off at Heine Brothers and Walgreens locations.

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