Tyrone father and son donate $400 to Huntingdon Salvation Army

Tyrone’s total goes from $703 to $1,103 thanks to the generosity of the Hall family

Ozell+and+Tommy+Hall

Ozell and Tommy Hall

High school students are rarely given credit for putting others ahead of themselves, but the spirit of Christmas and giving back to the community is strong with at least one TAHS student.

Sophomore Tommy Hall had just sold his Ford truck and after finishing his own Christmas shopping with the money, he still had about $200 left.

That’s when he heard about the fire at Salvation Army in Huntingdon that destroyed toys and clothes for 200 needy families.

We came to Tyrone with only the shirts on our backs, and there were 70-80 people who I never met before giving us stuff when we got here”

— Ozell Hall

“We were Christmas shopping when [Tommy] told me that the school was doing something for the Salvation Army Church,” said Tommy’s dad, Ozell Hall, “we talked about him maybe giving some money to the cause.”

Tommy decided to give all the money he had left to the Salvation Army.

“I didn’t have too many plans for the money,” said Tommy, “so I thought, why not?  That way some kids could have presents.”

What Tommy didn’t know was that his dad had already decided to match his donation.

“I thought whatever he decided to give, I was going to match,” said Ozell, “I had no idea he was going to give it all and he didn’t know until today that I was going to match it.”

Turns out, losing everything is something the Halls know all too well.

“We’ve been there before, so we know,” said Ozell.

Tommy and his family are originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. The Halls experienced two house fires and lived through Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

After Katrina devastated their town, Ozell decided he’d had enough and decided to move far from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.  They chose Tyrone because Ozell’s best friend from the military is from here and offered to host the Halls until they could find a place of their own.

“We came to Tyrone with only the shirts on our backs, and there were like 70-80 people who I never met before giving us stuff when we got here,” said Ozell, “So every year I try to do something to give back.”

A big man with long hair and a white beard, Ozell makes a perfect Santa and takes advantage of it every year by giving presents to local kids.

“I never accept anything in return,” said Ozell.

This year Ozell’s son followed his dad’s example and helped those in need himself.

“I’m proud of him,” said Ozell.