The Rochester association prepares hotel rooms for the homeless


ROCHESTER, NY – A Rochester nonprofit is preparing festive hotel rooms for the homeless, the second year of an event that is now national.

For those who don’t have a home for the holidays, an army of Santa’s helpers are working hard to fix this.

“We never know what someone may be going through,” said Karen Lee Byfield, a Champions of Change volunteer. “So it’s important to let them know during this season of love and giving, we are giving back. It’s important to give back and share.”

Byfield has volunteered with Champions of Change since its inception seven years ago, a nonprofit that began housing homeless families in hotel rooms for Christmas last year.

“This is an opportunity to be a blessing to our community,” said Byfield. “Some people are not as lucky as others, and every time we serve our community, we are actually serving God.”

The organization is helping 20 families in Rochester this year, with each room furnished with personalized decor and gifts for the kids.

“I think it just gives us a chance to share what we all take for granted sometimes: the warmth of a home, relaxing with the family and watching a movie together, special gifts for that child,” Lauren Murray, said the Champions of Change coordinator for Rochester.

And speaking of children, many of the volunteers were children themselves.

“I like doing it with friends that we can make together. And then it takes faster,” said Emily Conlan, 7.

They are all delighted to give back a most magical vacation at this time.

“It makes people happy because everyone is happy when they wake up on Christmas morning to see all the presents. So it’s really fun,” said Annabelle Conlan, 9.

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