IRVINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey mother and her children were days away from being homeless, but on Monday, she found out they’ll have a home for the holidays.
It’s all thanks to a New York Giants player and a project inspiring kindness.
Taneka Howell and her three children are being evicted at the end of the month from their Irvington apartment where they share one bedroom. Her biggest hope was to find a new home by Thanksgiving.
Giants tight end Rhett Ellison made that happen, donating one year’s worth of rent.
“I don’t even know how to say thank you,” Howell told Ellison.
“You don’t have to say thank you. Thank you for allowing us to help you guys out, you know, I think it’s important to our family,” Ellison said.
“It’s good to know that there are people who are actually able to help us and willing to look out for us,” 17-year-old Zaihmir Howell told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
The connection was made through Project Kind and A Little Help, two organizations that build support systems for those experiencing homelessness and for single mothers.
“It means the world to me. It just means that my kids will be safe,” Taneka Howell said.
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Prior to living in the Irvington apartment, the Howell family lived in a shelter after being domestically abused. Now Howell is a full-time college student studying criminal justice.
“I want to work with victims and I’ll be a victim advocate for domestic violence … That’s where we came from, coming out of a shelter for domestic violence. So I just want to be able to one day help somebody like somebody helped me,” she said.
Her children — Zaihmir, 13-year-old Jonathan and 10-year-old Miciah — are thankful their mother had the courage to ask for help.
“I’ve never seen somebody put in so much work and put so much dedication in their children,” Jonathan said.
“She is a strong, smart, kind, loving woman and no one could be better than her,” Miciah said.
Ellison also invited the family to Sunday’s Giants game. He hopes others pass on the kindness.
“That’s what it’s about. It’s giving, you know, serving, giving what you have to others,” Ellison said.
The family signs a lease on their new apartment in Newark on Tuesday.
Project Kind is in need of donations to continue helping families like the Howells. Every little bit helps.
To learn more about how you can help, visit ProjectKind123.org.