Viewer inspired to help single-mother with Christmas presents

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RICHMOND, Va. -- For months we’ve been following the story of a homeless woman who called CBS 6 when she felt there was nowhere else left to turn.

LuJoy Smith and her son Mason were on the verge of sleeping on the streets. Last time we checked in on them they were finally moving into their own home.

Smith and Mason sat on a waiting list for RRHA housing for three years, and then missed their opportunity when their acceptance letter went to an old address.

But, they never could have guessed who was watching their story just in time for Christmas.

Nicole Palmer

Nicole Palmer

“When I saw you, and I was going to do something for you anyway, and when my brother said, she is some kin to us, I was like, wow,” Nicole Palmer, the woman who called CBS 6 to offer the gifts, said.

It turns out; Palmer is Smith’s long lost aunt.

“We were able to come up with some money to help you out just a little bit as far as gifts for your son,” Palmer said as she gave Smith a hug.


During a break from the hugs and tears, Palmer and her elves filled the empty space under Smith’s Christmas tree inside her new home provided by her previous homeless shelter.

“Miss Melissa always has something up her sleeve,” Smith said.

CBS 6 even chipped in by giving Mason a $50 gift card to the movie theater.



“I heard you’d never been to the movies, so I wanted to give you a gift card, so you can go to the movies with your mom,” CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit said.

“I really didn’t want to be on TV or anything… I didn’t even want recognition, I just wanted to make sure your son had a Christmas, because this could be me,” Palmer said.

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