Richmond helped raise them. Now these former football players are giving back.

Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-09 17:24:15-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- For Richmond native Tommy Williams and friend Deandre Harris-Smith, giving back to their community is something the two have done together for a while.

"We all played football, we all played a sport so we're used to doing community service with our team, but we wanted to take it to another level," Harris-Smith said.

From starting with small community give-back events to starting a non-profit, the pair is determined to make a difference in the community that helped raise them.

"We don't want our people on the streets, we want people taken care, we want our kids off the street, we want to stop the violence, we want better," Harris-Smith said.

With the help of their family and friends, the two started the All Equals Project non-profit.

"We want to help the kids, we want to help the community, the homeless community, so our overall impact is not just the homeless but to touch all of Richmond," Williams said.

The organization holds various give-back events throughout the year and the first big one of 2023 is quickly approaching.

"On March 11, I'm doing a community give-back drive in Church Hill," Williams said.

Hoping to give away lots of food, clothes, toiletries and even free haircuts, the non-profit is asking the community for help.

"Canned goods are our biggest needs, individually wrapped items, stuff we can give out," Williams said.

Harris-Smith said he's grateful to be able to plan events like these as he's once experienced homelessness.

"I've struggled. I know what it's like to be homeless, not necessarily on the streets, but I know the feeling of needing that, needing somebody to lift you up. So that's all we really here to do, to lift people up," Harris-Smith said.

Saturday's giveaway event is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is open to anyone in need.



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