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Business Owner Ilanna Ball Sponsors 3rd Annual Christmas Eve Dinner

Hundreds expected to attend Woonsocket holiday-themed event.

When Ilanna Ball decided to help others during the holidays, she decided to devote her time to individuals and families in need, to specifically choose to aid those without a home and those without enough food to eat. These factors can make for tough times, especially when children are involved.

Ball, who owns Total Asset Solutions and Finest Real Estate and Property Management in North Smithfield, will be hosting the Third annual Christmas Eve Dinner for the Homeless to assist homeless and “working poor” families because Ball said she also wants them to enjoy the holiday season.

This free event happens on Tuesday, December 24, at The Millrace Kitchen, 40 S. Main St., Woonsocket, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Attendees will receive a hot meal, presents and family photos with Santa as well as other exciting activities.

“Hunger and homelessness don’t take holidays off,” she said. “I was raised to help others and this is my passion and cause—helping those in need. My husband, Charles Coulbourn, and I also deliver hot meals to people who need it most, whether they are living in their cars, a shelter or somewhere else. I feel fortunate to be in the position that I am in, and want to pay it forward.”

Adeline’s, A Speakeasy Kitchen Bar, located on 2352 Mendon Road in Cumberland, will provide 200 meals for the event. Owner Philip Giguere said the holidays are a good time to give to those who are less fortunate. Like Ball, Giguere also works with the homeless and provides meals to an area family whose son has physical challenges.

“The holidays are a festive time for most people, but there are others who struggle to make it fun and enjoyable,” said Giguere. “Ilanna and her colleagues have been very supportive of my restaurant, and this is a good way to give back. She provided me with this opportunity to do so.”

Adeline’s is also serving as a drop-off center for anyone interested in donating personal hygiene items for the drive Ball is running in conjunction with The Wheeler School in Providence. Other drop-off sites include Shamrock Home Loans, located at 75 Newman Ave. in Rumford, and North Smithfield Auto Center, located on 106 Greenville Road in North Smithfield.

Ball stressed that the Christmas Eve Dinner is not limited to just the homeless. She said many families routinely make tough choices like paying the rent or buying food. These are luxuries some people take for granted. Ball said several people attended the event last year who would have otherwise spent the holidays alone.

“Not everyone is fortunate to live near friends and family. Nobody should be left out or be alone for the holidays,” Ball said.

Ball said the outpouring of support from the community over the last two years has helped to make this event successful. She added her goal this year of reaching more people. Ball said she is also focusing extra resources in order to ensure that there are gifts appropriate for teenagers—sadly that age group often gets overlooked.

“That is such a tough age, adding homelessness and poverty can make it even harder,” she said. “We are going to make sure every teen who attends leaves with a smile.”

Ball encourages anyone who is considering making a donation for the holidays to do so. There is plenty to be gained by participating in something that makes others feel special and wanted during the holiday season, she said.

“We aren’t asking any questions or looking for documentation to prove people are in need,” she continued. “We just want people to come down—regardless of their situation—have a good meal and be with some wonderful company.”

Finest Real Estate and Property Management is a premier real estate brokerage located in Northern Rhode Island. The company provides real estate services for all homebuyers and sellers, including first-time homebuyers and investors, along with property management services.

Total Asset Solutions is a fully licensed, insured and bonded general contractor that serves Rhode Island and Massachusetts. They can complete large projects such as a 203K rehab or simply come over to complete a “honey-do” list. They also offer full-service property management, landscaping and plowing services.

The Christmas Eve Dinner is open to anyone interested in attending. Donations are needed to help make this event successful. Donations of gift cards to fast-food restaurants and gas stations are most needed. Other needs include toys for young children and gifts for teens. All items must be new, unused, and unwrapped.

Please contact Ilanna Ball at 401-419-7116 or by email at wecanfixitall4u@gmail.com for more details.

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