If you could turn a $5 donation into $10,000 for something you cared deeply about, would you? I have been challenged to do something HUGE with a $5.00 bill. In my Business Mastermind STL meeting, we were asked "who was willing to take this challenge and do something great". I accepted! Now I am challenging 2,000+ people to match my $5 bill to create $10,000+ which will support the Homeless Youth Initiative in Jefferson County, Missouri. But this story isn’t about me.
This story is about Teens who continue to succeed by staying in school, in spite of homelessness, and how we can support them in their endeavor to graduate and hold onto hope for their future successes.
On October 20, 2016 my dear cousin and his family lost their son, Rick, in a hit-and-run accident at age 28. His tragic death was the result of someone who did not accept the responsibility of their own recklessness as Rick walked home from a friend’s home in Arizona.
In his younger years, Rick found himself struggling, and had become homeless at one point. Due to love from his family and support in the community, he came full circle and was living a life some homeless teens could only imagine. He had great friends, family, work and a home. In lieu of flowers at his funeral, the family asked us to donate that money to support struggling teens. It was through this that I discovered the Homeless Youth Initiative (HYI) in my own back yard in Missouri.
The Homeless Youth Initiative currently supports over 150 Teens in this county alone. The program’s motto is simply “Helping Teens Today…Become Proud Adults Tomorrow.” These Teens are provided the tools and resources needed to stay in school and successfully live independently. Food, gas for school, personal items, Christmas Gifts, emergency items, and Scholarships through the county’s Junior College are the most common ways the donations are used.
HYI is supported by a group of helping professionals, social workers, counselors, churches, the college and concerned citizens who donate their own money and time to provide for these teens in need.
As I was challenged to do something huge with my $5, I now challenge you. Match my $5.00 and share this story with others. Together, we can honor Rick and all teens who face their own challenges and stay in school no matter the struggle. I am kicking off this challenge on the 1-year anniversary of Rick’s passing. My hope is to reach this goal of $10,000 before Thanksgiving so money needed for the holidays and the beginning of 2018 will be provided to these Homeless Teens.
My bigger vision is that those of you reading this will look into the needs of your own community, and see if this type of program exists for the Homeless Teens who live among you, and who are still attending your schools. Together we can model programs such as this one, and support these young boys and girls who are America’s future.
You can do two things to help homeless youth!
1. Donate $5 to this account
2. Post the following on your own Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to encourage others you know to do the same:
Help a #homelessteen by going to this GO FUND ME account and donate $5. #itmatters
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