Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) first got involved with Project Renewal in 2013 when the school invited our staff to speak to its 3rd graders about homelessness.
“The kids were confused about homelessness,” said Kerry Donahue, Co-Chair of LREI’s Parent Association Community Service Committee. “Some of them talked about being scared of homeless people they had seen, so it was great to have Project Renewal staff answer their questions.”
Inspired by what they learned, the students and their families made Thanksgiving baskets – filled with food, homemade cards, toys, and other goodies – for families in our En Casa supportive housing program. “This is going to be a real Thanksgiving,” said one En Casa mother, upon receiving her basket. “I want to make every holiday perfect for my daughter now that we’re in our new home.”
The baskets are now an annual project, but this year, the students didn’t stop there. For their Martin Luther King Day of Service, LREI’s high school group held a drive to collect toiletries, energy bars and other items, which they assembled into 200 “Renewal Kits” – each with a handwritten note – for our mobile medical patients.
“These service projects are a great opportunity for the kids to talk about homelessness, while doing something constructive to help people in need,” said Donahue. “We want to keep the conversation going and continue to help.”