The Southern Berks News
Boyertown, Pottstown area fairies help homeless
Leanne Moyer of Barto created Facebook groups to help homeless in memory of friend
Volunteers known as fairies dusted the community with kindness amid the pandemic. More recently those volunteer fairies help the homeless in the Pottstown area.
Leanne Moyer of Barto created the Facebook group Fairies of Boyertown and Surrounding Areas in November 2020 and then later created Leanne’s Life Changing Fairies two months ago, inspired by her late friend, Tony Mlady of Pottstown, who died on Nov. 3, 2020.
“During the COVID (pandemic), Tony told me to make this group up. It started out to dust each other. During the COVID (shutdown) there was not much to do so we’d randomly put stuff on people’s doorsteps; it was just a fun thing to do,” said Leanne. “Then it ended up going into everybody helping the homeless and it just took off.”
Prior to his death, Tony, was homeless, living on the streets of Pottstown so Leanne got to know some of the other people living on the streets.
“The day he passed away, I
just threw on my boots and started helping everybody and that kept getting bigger and bigger,” said Leanne.
Leanne and Tony had been friends since age 10 so he has been a big inspiration for her.
“He had an alcohol addiction and was in rehab but his heart couldn’t take it anymore. I lost him to the streets,” said Leanne. “My heart breaks daily but he is the only one that keeps me going. I can hear him say, ‘Girl, you got this. You’re Leanne. You can do anything. You’re the superhero to many,’ is what he use to tell me. His support is what is keeping me doing this. He put in my heart how amazing a mother, grandmother and friend I am to many. I wear his ashes either on my neck or in my bracelet every time I am out helping someone.”
Leanne said everyone that knew Tony in Pottstown or Boyertown knew him as a person that made them laugh or smile, even though he was struggling with his own addictions and problems.
“As I am doing this, people are coming up to me and say, ‘Wow, he was amazing and funny and just talked so highly about you, Leanne,’ so that keeps me going.”
“He is the one that made the Boyertown Fairy group up with me, to cheer me up during the pandemic and now I have an offshoot group called Leanne’s Life Changing Fairies,” added Leanne.
Helping Those in Need
Leanne’s Life Changing Fairies sets up a stand every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 316 E High St., Pottstown. Volunteers serve hot meals and distribute food, clothes, and toiletries to anyone in need.
Leanne estimates there are about 100 volunteers involved in both fairy groups, with a core group of about 10 that regularly help at the Pottstown stand on Saturdays. Dan Guest from the Phat Cats Disc Golf made the fairy group logo and put stickers on Leanne’s truck. James Dragovich serves as vice president of Leanne’s Life Changing Fairies.
Formerly homeless living in a shelter in Pottstown, Crystal McCoy found help in her time of need from Leanne’s Fairy Group.
“She helped me get the clothes that I needed and the food that I needed and called around to different places to find a room for me to rent… so I’d have a place to go,” said Crystal. “Her positivity and all of the people that are in her group cared enough about me to help bring me to the point that I’m at.”
Since then, Crystal has been approved to receive social security disability which will cover her living expenses.
Now, Crystal volunteers with the fairy group helping others in need.
“I ride around with Leanne checking on homeless people, handing out snacks, food and water, checking to make sure they are OK,” said Crystal.
Leanne also asked Crystal to be the secretary of the fairy group.
“I’m so proud to be part of the group that is continuing to grow and I see it every day how many people are willing to help us.”
Crystal helps at the fairy group stand at Christ Episcopal Church in Pottstown every Saturday, handing out food, clothing and other needed items. She grew up in Pottstown but never realized how many people are homeless in Pottstown. Being able to help them makes her feel proud to be part of the Pottstown community.
“I get to pay it forward. I was once in their shoes and now I can show them there is something positive that can come of this,” said Crystal. “It’s just an amazing experience to give back to the community.”
The group is able to hand out needed items thanks to donations from the community such as Ringing Rocks Elementary student Noel Stahl’s school snack drive.
Gramias and Restaurant in Boyertown once a month makes meals for Leanne to pick up and go on foot to deliver to all the homeless people she finds.
Semper Pie in Boyertown donates cupcakes and cheesecakes to deliver to the homeless.
Two pizzerias — Little Italy Pizza in Pottstown and HG Palermo Pizza in Pottstown — also help.
She also hopes to establish a weekly food distribution in the Boyertown area in the near future.
But more donations are needed as supplies are low.
“I am looking for everything. Supply is running low. I need containers of food and food that meals can be made of. I need sleeping bags and coats for winter,” said Leanne. “I’m looking for as much help as possible.”
Leanne is also looking for people to adopt a person in need for the holidays to provide a meal, clothing or something needed.
To volunteer or to donate, call Leanne at 610-781-6345.
Her desire to help others started when Leanne was young. While her father worked on a food truck, Leanne, at age 11, gave food away to a homeless man.
“It was a mission for me and I will continue it until the day I die.”
Her main goal is to get as many people off the streets and into housing whether in an apartment or a room for rent and get food in their stomachs.
Leanne estimates that her fairy groups have helped more than 100 people. She enjoys one-on-one contact with the people she helps. Her favorite part is seeing the smiles on their faces.
“I feel this could happen to anybody tomorrow,” said Leanne. “The more people that help I think the better. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
Leanne also gives out her phone number so people in need can contact her when they need help or someone to talk to. She has helped with rides, accessing a computer, obtaining food stamps, or anything to help a person get off the street.
“A lot of people walk up to me and thank me for what I’m doing. I’ve had people reach out to me on Facebook and offer to help,” she said. “Somebody made a T-shirt that says, ‘Leanne’s Life Changing Fairies on it.”
Leanne once drove three hours away when someone recognized her and her cause and told her, “You are Leanne that helps the homeless.”
She has traveled to five states and found homeless people in need.
“No matter where I go, my bags are ready to help someone. This is why I was put on this earth, I know it.”
In her car, Leanne keeps food, blankets and clothes.
“Everywhere I go, my eyes are watching for someone in need.”
Leanne even gave away her own beloved winter coat to a homeless woman.
“My group has done the same. It’s been an amazing journey so far.”
To volunteer or make a donation, visit the Facebook groups Leanne’s Life Changing Fairies and Fairies of Boyertown and Surrounding Areas or contact Leanne at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-781-6345.