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Giving a little and getting more back

In this week’s Heroes segment we get to know Mary Ann Ponci, a woman who uses her own money to buy items for those in need. She dedicated her time figuring out what they may need and will occasionally get help from friends and her church. 10/02/16 (KSNV)

In this week’s Heroes segment we get to know Mary Ann Ponci, a woman who uses her own money to buy items for those in need. She dedicated her time figuring out what they may need and will occasionally get help from friends and her church.

New 3’s Chloe Beardsley spoke with Mary Ann about her giving nature.

At first, Mary Ann didn’t even want to do the interview. We are glad she did. She tells us the reason she helps is because it’s just the right thing to do.

We followed Mary Ann when she went to feed the homeless Tuesday night. With a few friends by her side, they were ready to feed dozens of people who needed help. “God is good to me and I need to pass it on,” said Mary Ann.

She makes all of the packed meatballs sandwiched herself, which show her personality and heritage. “I’m Italian and I love meatballs!”

Everyone we spoke with raved – these are the best sandwiches in town. “Sandwiches, good stuff! Bottled water, oranges you know and they take care of us,” said Jimmy, a homeless man from Cleveland.

She also brings items people need but can’t afford. “We had a couple of real young kids who I know they didn’t have anything,” said Mary Ann. “I bought him a pair of tennis shoes, underwear, some shampoo and soap and he said how did you know and I said I knew you didn’t have anything, he said I don’t.”

She got started nearly a decade ago when a friend asked her to volunteer. She used to make trips with her husband until he passed away four years ago. Now she continues the tradition giving hope to those on the streets.

“These people give us love and understanding and peace and joy and the stuff that Jesus Christ told everyone to be like,” said Jimmy who has been homeless for several years.

Mary Ann says she understand their situation because many families now live paycheck to paycheck. “Tomorrow, this might be that. I might be homeless tomorrow. I don’t know that. I don’t and I’m not here to judge,” said Mary Ann.

Her friends told us, Mary Ann doesn’t like to be in the spotlight and are happy she is being recognized for all the work she does to help others. “Mary Ann is super, she’s a sweetheart. She would give the shirt off her back if they asked her for it,” said friend Patricia McGlynn.

Mary Ann says she has gained so much from this experience that she calls everyone here – family. “They give more to me than I give to them, there’s no doubt about it.”

Mary Ann says the homeless gather to meet her every Tuesday night around 5 o’clock at Washington and A Street in Las Vegas. She says if you would like to donate directly to the homeless, meet them there.

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