HOWLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – Lindsey Villanueva passed away last November from a brain aneurysm. She had a pet project: a small coat drive. Her husband Tony Villanueva wanted to take her dream to a whole new level. He is this week’s Hometown Hero.
Coats and jackets line the back room of Tony’s house. For his late wife Lindsey, it was a dream to help less fortunate kids in the Valley. It started with a phone call to Lindsey’s sister, Alissa Hallock.
“When we lost Lindsey last year and the dust kind of settled, he came to us and said he wanted to make this official and keep it going. We really weren’t surprised and we were all right behind him and just ready to be his cheerleader,” Hallock said.
Lindsey started collecting coats with a simple Facebook post, but Tony knew she wanted to make a bigger impact.
“We always said that we don’t want to make it bigger, we want to make it better. This year we want to make it better than last year and next year make it better than this year,” Tony said.
With the weather turning colder, it was time to start making deliveries.
“We actually delivered coats already to Someplace Safe in Warren and the response was incredible. Just knowing that they’re going to a great cause, to children in need, it feels great to deliver those coats,” Tony said.
Boot drives from area fire departments and other fundraisers would’ve made Lindsey proud, especially of her husband.
“I think she would be surprised, but also not because that’s the kind of guy Tony is, and he’s driven,” Hallock said.
So when you go to buy a coat this fall, pick one up for a kid in need and remember Lindsey.
“If you’re interested in donating, you can check out LiveLikeLindsey.org for some more information as to how you can donate or where you can send a monetary donation to,” Hallock said.