LYNN, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — After founding a homeless charity organization in her community, a Lynn woman received a surprising gift from a major celebrity.
Tommi Hill, 21, created the organization Love-4-Lynn, which she describes as "existing to help people." Hill started collecting donations for her local homeless shelter, later writing a letter to Oprah Winfrey for help with her efforts.
After several months went by, Hill figured she would never get a response to her letter. But to her surprise, she later received a social media message from Winfrey's assistant, asking for more information about her work, and telling her to expect a package in the mail.
Inside the package was a one thousand dollar Amazon gift card, and a letter from Winfrey herself, thanking Hill for her work.
"Dear Tommi, I'm moved by all you are doing to support your community in Lynn, Massachusetts," the letter read. "There's no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. What I know for sure is what you give comes back to you. Thank you for inspiring others through your service. Blessings, Oprah Winfrey."
Hill said she used the gift card to help four Lynn families move out of a homeless shelter and into permanent housing.
She added that the entire experience and getting recognition from Winfrey has been "amazing."
"Honestly like hearing the stories what they go through," she said. "It brings tears to your eyes."
Love-4-Lynn is currently in the process of becoming a legal non-profit recognized by the state, as Hill said she would like to continue devote her time to helping others.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports.