We went to the North Texas Children's Expo this past weekend. The event benefitted City House, which is a local shelter in Plano for homeless, runaway or abandoned youth. It is the ONLY teen shelter in Collin County, which has a population of over 762,000 people! Here is how City House got started:
In the late 1980s, two Plano school teachers noticed some of their students arriving at school with all their belongings in trash bags. The students would store the trash bags in their lockers during the day and take the bags with them when they left school at the end of the day. Upon investigation, the teachers discovered these students were homeless.
The teachers’ reaction was ‘not in this community!’ The thought of homeless youth was intolerable to these teachers. They immediately began working on ways to provide a safe shelter for teens in crisis. The community rallied to the cause and the first facility was opened in 1989. It was a 6 bed shelter in a house owned by the First Baptist Church. That was the birth of CITY House. For 20 years, CITY House has been providing a safe environment for 10 to 17 year olds.
I honestly cannot read that description without feeling emotional...first, because of the actions of those two teachers. Second, because there are actually kids in this suburban community with so many resources and so much wealth that do not have a place to call home. What began as a 6 bed shelter is now a 15 bed shelter!
This Christmas, as you are preparing your gift lists for family and friends, consider buying a few things to donate to your local homeless shelter. Most of them have "wish lists" you can find either online or by giving them a call. Or, to make it really easy, buy a gift card to Target or WalMart and drop it off to them. If you live in Collin County, check out the City House website and view their Shelter Wish List for needed items! You'll be glad you did :-)