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Operation Lennox: Helping the homeless

Newswatch 16's Courtney Harrison shares his story of wanting to help and how it became a community effort during the season of giving.

TAYLOR, Pa. — A question about homelessness from a young boy in Lackawanna County has led to a full-scale fundraiser.

Lennox Monteiro, age 6, is pretty much your typical kindergartener, always asking questions. Lennox's mom Kristen says she's used to fielding questions from her curious kid, but she wasn't expecting this one.

"He said, 'Mommy, is homelessness real?'" Kristen said. "I said, 'Unfortunately, you know, buddy, it is real.' So then he asked me questions. 'So, does that mean they don't have anything?' And I said it does."

Kristen says during that conversation, Lennox said when he grows up, he wants to get a good job, make a lot of money, and save all the homeless people. Moved by his kind words and heart, she posted their conversation on Facebook. MariJo VanWert was one of the many who saw it.

"He wanted to save all those people. I thought to myself, he's a little boy who's six years old. He doesn't have to wait till he studies hard and makes money. He can make a difference now," VanWert said.

With the help of borough officials and other community members, Operation Lennox began. Drop boxes were set up to collect items for the homeless and donate them to keystone mission, a nonprofit that helps those in need.

"We are asking for tents, tarps, different things like that, amongst, you know, boots and extra-large jeans," Kristen said.

"We already have like over $5,000 in donations of clothing that has been donated, and so it's like, I just believe that it's just going to like whirlwind into a yearly thing," MariJo added.

There are places to drop off items all over Taylor, including at the borough building. You can also drop off items for operation Lennox At the parade on Friday outside the Taylor Community Library.

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