About a month ago, students from the LEAD Foundation’s male-mentoring program, the REEL Project, are able to come up with an idea in regards to their community service project. Earlier in the year, the middle and high school aged men design the #MakeADifference campaign. Through their efforts earlier this winter, they are able to collect new and slightly used items including hats, gloves, scarves, coats, socks, and travel-sized toiletries that are delivered to Ft McPherson in their efforts to work with homeless veterans.
This past Wednesday, December 23, 2015, they are able to build upon their earlier project. A Taste of Paradise Restaurant and Event Hall serves as their donation drop-off center (through December 19, 2015), and through the generous efforts of a number of people in the immediate community, they are able to have a truck full of the aforementioned items for homeless men, women, and children, but also have some “grab-bags” complete with water and snack items to help provide something additional for those in need.
This in and of itself makes the student-initiated service project a success. Some added support from one of the city’s more well-known venues provides an additional tier of service and outreach.
Thanks to the efforts of the staff and management of Scales 925, nearly 100 meals are provided to feed the homeless while they are able to pick up needed items to help brave the forthcoming winter months. Through their support, combined with volunteers from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. along with volunteers from the LEAD Foundation, all are able to brave the cold, rainy weather to provide a measure of holiday cheer and encouragement.
“The kids did a great job collecting and sorting for over 100 people”, remarks Roniqua Watkins, a member of the Gainesville (GA) Alumnae Chapter.
Christine Reid, who is also a member of the sorority, adds, “Even though we are not able to stay out longer (due to the heavy rain), we are able to help a lot of people out. The staff of Scales 925 did a great job of helping (provide meals) as well”.
With clothing needs ranging from shoes, belts, along with the other items collected, it is likely the foundation is scheduling future visits to the area directly across the Pine Street shelter (at Courtland Ave and Pine Street). Combined with future drives and programming, including their co-ed (for middle and high school aged men and women) Alpha Leadership Program for Higher Achievement, additional student-initiated projects are in the works. With support from the business community, including Scales 925 and others, the program can clearly grow and provide a strong and meaningful tandem in helping better address the need to render assistance and forge solid working relationships with the business and nonprofit community.
From the mouths and minds of young people, combined with support from others, is just one of a number of ways that many can make a difference.