It's better to give than to receive, the old adage says.
Thanks to some help from Kohl's department stores, Washington Parent was able to help community members in need this holiday season. Through its "Pay it Forward" initiative, Kohl's gave us a $250 gift card that we were able to use to purchase items for homeless young people in Washington, D.C.
We reached out to Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the D.C. chapter of StandUp for Kids, a national nonprofit that seeks to end youth homelessness. The organization, run exclusively by volunteers, connects with local homeless and at-risk youth at shelters and local libraries. Volunteers work to ensure youth have access to food, clothing and hygiene items. They also act as mentors, helping young people with resumes, GED preparation and more.
Paul, 19, is one of the youth who has been working with StandUp for Kids-DC. Since volunteers met him nearly a year ago, he has passed the GED and taken the SAT twice. He hopes to start college next semester. We were able to provide Paul with a new pair of jeans and some undershirts.
Another young person helped by the nonprofit is "Tee," a dancer who "always has a sunny disposition, and loves to dance even though she's in a shelter," Robinson says. We bought Tee a new pair of dance pants to ensure she's able to continue doing what she loves.
After talking with Robinson, we determined that the nonprofit needs lots of basics—underwear, undershirts and long-sleeved T-shirts. We were glad to be able to donate some of the most-needed items to help youth in need.
We're grateful to Kohl's for giving us the opportunity to donate essential items to homeless and at-risk youth. Thanks also to Lindsay Robinson for helping us recognize what types of items are most needed by this group of young adults.