It seems like forever, doesn't it? But I'm back today with a purpose: it's back to school time at the Road Home, Salt Lake City's family homeless shelter. You're probably planning some back to school shopping soon, so maybe you could make a little plan for supporting some homeless children?
I won't tell you about when I did my back to school shopping.
(It was two weeks ago. I'm more organized than I have ever been--if all you are counting are school supplies.)
Last year I brought my kids to the store during Christmas to pick out new toys for the Road Home. It was surprising how they responded to children who don't have a home or wouldn't necessarily receive a present. I worry my kids are too entitled, and you probably have the same worry. Don't get mad at your kids for being entitled, ask them to serve, show them how much they have and how they can give as a way of gratitude in action.
It's time for the Road Home Apple Tree:
The Road Home sent me this information:
"Organizers of The Road Home Apple Tree have added the needs and sizes of 26 new children to Apple Trees at 33 locations along the Wasatch Front and are asking the public to help.
"The Road Home continues to see an increase in the number of children in need,” said Celeste Eggert, director of development at The Road Home. “We have had a 50 percent increase in the children we serve this fiscal year as compared to the five years prior. The Apple Tree Program helps to ensure that all the school age children living at the shelter are given a new outfit and backpack to start the school year."
Apple Trees are set up at DownEast, Payless ShoeSource, Salt Lake area Staples, Old Navy and Intrepid Hybrid Communications. Donated items, which should be new and unused, can be dropped off at any of the 33 campaign partner locations from Provo to Ogden. At the completion of the campaign, which runs through Aug. 11, clothing and school supplies will be delivered to the Road Home before the school year begins." You can read more about the drive here: www.theroadhomeappletree.com
Got that? There are Apple Trees around town, in places where you are probably going to shop anyway, with a child's name and what they need. Join me in picking up an extra backpack, another sweater, and some school supplies. If you're pressed for time, refuse to do any back to school shopping because you hold strong, personal anti-consumeristic principles, or are living with a phobia of fresh school supplies, you could also make a donation.
Additionally, you might know Sue from Navel Gazing, but she also volunteers at the Road Home. She shared that the shelter can often use toy room donations as well. If you get in touch with me, I can put you in touch with her for more information on donating items, like new play-doh and Thomas trains. It's a constant need--a constant need that you and I can fill like it's nothing at all. Let's do more.