Matt Hayden wants to provide an Island family with food, shelter, warmth, and happiness for Christmas.
Hayden posted on the Islanders Talk Facebook page, asking about families who are homeless for the holidays, and offered to let them stay in his home from Dec. 24 to Dec. 27.
“It’s not the best house, but does have beds, TV, water; only heat is a wood stove,” Hayden wrote.
Hayden told The Times he feels that children deserve to enjoy their holidays when they are young, and not have to worry about where to find food, water, or shelter during the cold winter months. “Kids need to be kids and enjoy that tradition. It’s so important to have those experiences when you are young,” Hayden said.
Although Hayden said he hasn’t offered his West Tisbury house out before this year, he is no stranger to benevolent community work.
“During the last snowstorm, I shoveled elderly people’s homes, and during the last windstorm I cut trees and did some cleanups for folks who couldn’t do it themselves,” Hayden said. “Last year we even cooked Thanksgiving dinner for elderly people.”
Although Hayden said he doesn’t have much, he wants to offer whatever support he can to those who have little to look forward to this holiday. “All I have to give people is my time, My belief is to do more for others than yourself,” Hayden said. “I’m broke, but I have a house and a couple beds, and I can go get some firewood for whoever wants to stay.”
A couple of people have already said they might be interested in staying with Hayden in his home. He even offered to cook a turkey and keep the fire going as his guests enjoy their time together.
“I’ve been going to churches and talking to the pastors to see who might need this. I want to help any kids who are homeless on the Island,” Hayden said. “It makes me happy to see kids happy.”
Aside from offering a place to stay and being the guests’ “personal elf,” Hayden said he is taking last-minute gift requests if a parent doesn’t have money to buy their child a gift for Christmas.
“If kids think they might not get anything under the tree for Christmas, I am more than happy to provide that,” Hayden said. “I really just want to make someone’s holiday really special this year.”
If any family has no place to stay during the holidays and wants to stay with Hayden, he can be reached at 774-563-9694.