Fall is still here. Winter is right around the corner. With the change in seasons from the cool to the colder, a number of needs are given heightened attention, ranging from the overall holiday season (i.e. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and New Year’s), to paying closer attention to those who are in need during this time of the year.
For the past 2 years, students from the REEL Project, the male-mentoring program for middle and high school students via the LEAD Foundation, are doing more than taking time to take note and pay attention to things around them. They are going a step-further (as in previous year) in designing and executing their own service-oriented programs to reach back and help others. This year’s project, #MakeADifference2015, is a continuation of their tradition of service and outreach to the greater community.
The focus of the project is to collect winter items for not only homeless adults (men and women), but for children (their peer group) as well. Starting this past Saturday (November 21, 2015) and concluding in December (December 19, 2015), readers are asked to drop-off items at A Taste of Paradise Restaurant and Event Hall (4805 Lawrenceville Highway in Lilburn) at the collection bin provided. The items requested include new or slightly used hats, coats, blankets, scarves, and gloves, as well as new socks, as often-times, they (socks) are an overlooked item for collection.
During the collection period, they are hoping to have enough items to conduct two deliveries during the week of Christmas (starting on December 21, 2015). Their goal is to actually go out into the areas where the homeless are concentrated and directly distribute donated items. As an added effort, their plan is to prepare “grab-bags” of light food (i.e. sandwiches, snacks, and water to help keep people hydrated) to provide a meal; in speaking with the group this past Saturday (November 21, 2015), as Jalanni Gary (a high school student from Brookwood High School in their program) adds, “We are looking forward to support from the community to help us to help others in need”.
Reaching back and helping others is an ever-present need. This need clearly is accentuated during the holidays, and while there are a number of organizations that are heeding the call, the fact that young people have an interest for community engagement (as many of the students who are involved in the planning are in 8th-12th grade) is even more meaningful and notable. With support from the community, we can all #MakeADifference2015.