DALLAS – In this season of Christmas, family means so much more than ever for a few Dallas area children and adults, especially for those who have been dealing with hard times and life's circumstances recently.
“Words can't explain how I feel right now,” said Aris Joseph. “I'm thankful!”
Joseph, a now single father of six is among those families who have been dealing with unexpected challenges. His fiancée, Gabrielle Simmons, the mother of his children, was murdered while working at a Dollar General store in South Oak Cliff last month.
Joseph and his family were surprised by a shopping spree from the owners of Williams Chicken and their team. It was an experience that brought an unmeasured amount of gratitude to the young father and his children.
“I wish she was here to see this and do all of it with us,” said Martavionne Parker, Simmons' oldest son.
The Williams Chicken team wanted to do something special for the children who range in age from 9-months to 11-years-old.
"I want this to be special, than all of the other Christmases," said Parker.
Giving back during the holiday season, like this, has become part of Hiawatha Williams and his family's mission through a program called Change for Change. Customers donate loose coins throughout the year.
The restaurateur also surprised Clara Roiz and her family. They have fallen on tough times after a recent job loss.
"This is such a joy to me,” Hiawatha Williams said as he, his wife, and two sons helped the families unload carts at checkout. “It's an opportunity to do something very small, for some special people that make it possible for us to be in the community.”
It is a simple gesture. Giving back to neighbors. Helping families ease their burdens, a bit, during the holiday season.
The Williams Chicken team is continuing its weekend of giving a Change for Change Community Christmas Party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 23 at Mooreland YMCA, 907 E. Ledbetter in Dallas. The event will include light refreshments, music, gifts, prizes, give-a-ways, and a meet and greet with Santa Larry on the red carpet.