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Please read the article about Donte’s Gift Express and then REPLY to this post and answer with:

  1. What do you think will happen next Christmas in East Cleveland?
  2. What do you think Donte is going to do in the future?

    Article about Community Service in Cleveland

    A ‘blessing’ to East Cleveland: Donte Gibbs Gift Express delivers Christmas joy — Cleveland City Champions

    Posted Dec 25, 2019

    12A blessing to East Cleveland: Donte Gibbs Gift Express delivers Christmas presents and joy – Cleveland City ChampionsCarol Burton, an East Cleveland resident for 49 years, greets Donte Gibbs, right, after gifts were delivered to her street through Donte's Christmas Express December 21, 2019.  Donte Gibbs has been delivering gifts through his foundation for the past seven years.  This year he delivered around 600 gifts to residents on a dozen streets in East Cleveland.  Gus Chan. The Plain DealerBy This is the final part of The Plain Dealer’s Cleveland City Champions series, which honors people and organizations that have done bold, innovative work to lift up a neighborhood or a community. The series was produced in partnership with The Guardian and with public broadcaster Ideastream. To read about other Cleveland City Champions, go to tinyurl.com/CleChampions (Links to an external site.)

    1. CLEVELAND, Ohio — Shawna Wade heard the stories about Donté Gibbs, then saw a news feature on his contribution to the community. So she tested whether he was for real.
    2. Wade reached out to Gibbs on social media. She was 25, and she had a story to tell. It included the death of her boyfriend, and her own efforts to carry on as the single mother of four children. She sought help.
    3. “He responded swiftly and gave me details on how I could receive help,” Wade said. “He came through. He’s a blessing.”
    4. More than 1,500 other families have felt that way over the past six years in Gibbs’ home town of East Cleveland, thanks to Donte’s Gift Express (Links to an external site.)and the Betty Ruth Family Gift, which he named after his grandmother.
    5. Gibbs, who received his undergrad and masters degrees from Case Western Reserve University, (Links to an external site.) distributes gifts and gift cards during the Christmas holiday season. He came up with the idea after conversations with friends.
    6. Gibbs, 31, lifts up the residents of Ohio’s poorest city through direct acts of kindness.
    7. “His hand has been all over community programs,” said Greg Bell, recreation coordinator for the Salvation Army in East Cleveland. “If we could duplicate him it would be amazing. I’m proud to say Donte’s from East Cleveland.”
    8. During the Christmas season, Gibbs and volunteers purchase gifts, wrap them and deliver to families in East Cleveland. They buy the gifts with donations or with Gibbs’ own money. Then, they create an attention-getting suprise party.
    9. Donte Gibbs, of Donte's Christmas Express, gathers volunteers at the East Cleveland Salvation Army December 21, 2019.  This year the group delivered around 600 gifts to residents on a dozen streets in East Cleveland.  Gus Chan. The Plain Dealer
    10. With an escort from the East Cleveland police department, Gibbs and his team (up to 23 cars last year) deliver gifts to families on 10 to 12 randomly chosen streets in East Cleveland, just a few days before Christmas.
    11. “Police are playing Christmas music and flashing their sirens to let people know,” Gibbs said. “Families are coming out wondering what’s going on. We have on Santa hats and tee shirts with Donte Gift Express.”
    12. The families’ reactions are similar from year to year.
    13. “They open the door and we say we’re from Donte’s Gift Express,” Gibbs said. “People show so much emotion. Some even cry because they’re so appreciative.”
    14. Wade was the beneficiary of the Betty Ruth Family Gift, which is given to a deserving family nominated from social-media users or through Hands Across Cleveland. (Links to an external site.) Wade, in essence, nominated herself. Gibbs’ team was honored to assist.
    15. “To see how joyful they were when they saw the gifts wrapped makes this all worth participating in,” said Dominique Tucker, a team member of Donte’s Gift Express. “The smile and the laughter that families have is ultimately what we look forward.”
    16. Autumn Massey, 8, is greeted by the Grinch, at the East Cleveland Salvation Army.  Volunteers for Donte's Christmas Express gathered there before circulating through East Cleveland delivering gifts December 21, 2019.  Donte Gibbs has been delivering gifts through his foundation for the past seven years.  This year he delivered around 600 gifts to residents on a dozen streets in East Cleveland.  Gus Chan. The Plain Dealer
    17. Gibbs anticipates the day when his acts of kindness can expand beyond the holidays.
    18. “I hope we can grow into doing things beyond Christmas like providing school supplies, school clothes and whatever we can do to ease burdens for people of East Cleveland,’’ he said.

    Cleveland Champions ProfileName: Donté GibbsOrganization: Donté’s Gift Express and Betty Ruth Family GiftCleveland credentials: Gibbs, 31, is the manager of community outreach for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and lives in East Cleveland. He’s a Shaw High grad and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Case Western Reserve University.Champion credentials: Gibbs and several volunteers purchase gifts, wrap them at the East Cleveland Salvation Army and deliver to East Cleveland families during the Christmas season. Between 2013 and 2018, Gibbs and his team members surprised 1,536 families with gifts and gift cards. Gibbs also serves as volunteer coordinator for Manna Food From Heaven, which serves meals to women and men at local shelters twice a month.

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