Amazon teams up with local group to help families trying to get back on their feet

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- The holidays can be stressful, and for families dealing with homelessness, it's an even bigger burden.

In 2017, the country's homeless population went up for the first time since 2010. Now, Amazon is teaming up with Homeward Bound, playing Santa for families with the organization who are trying to get back on their feet. Company leaders say they were compelled to help out in this cause, after listening to various stories.

Elizabeth Clark said being homeless is one thing, being homeless and pregnant is another. 

"I really needed to be stable," Clark said. "I needed a place to call home, and I just really wanted to get my life together."

Amelia Lock said when a person becomes a mother, everything changes. 

"Just knowing that there was pretty much no one else that they could lean on but me," said Lock.

These women, who once lived on the streets, have since turned things around. Lock said she finally landed a job that she wanted.

"Today, I got a call, 'Do you accept working at this Credit Union?'" said Lock. "I said yes! Yes, this is great!"

Clark said she now has a roof over her head, and most importantly, a big smile on her face.

"I just feel like I have all these coping skills, and I feel good. Life is good," siad Clark.

After seeing all of this great work that Homeward Bound has done, Amazon donated $10,000 worth of essential items, toys and technology to the children and families there. 

"We're really honored to be a part of the Phoenix community, and have an opportunity to work with a great company like Homeward Bound, and give back to people, where we work," said Amazon Fulfillment General Manager John Giusti.

As a bonus, Amazon also made out a surprise $15,000 check donation to Homeward Bound. At the event on Wednesday, kids and families at Homeward Bound got to spend time sipping Hot Cocoa, decorating holiday cookies, take selfies with the elfies. and hear a holiday story from Santa. The company's General Manager said told Amazon plans to donate a total of $1 million to homeless programs across the country.

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