After a summer of selling baked goods, smoothies and even some of their stuffed animals, four local kids – Ace, Aria, Grayson and Kaiya – donated $656 to St. Matthew’s House to provide food and shelter for the homeless.
The family arrived at Campbell Lodge on Thursday morning to take a tour of the shelter and learn exactly how their donation would make a difference in the lives of the residents.
“I’m really grateful that they’re learning this at a young age,” said Shannon Mitchell, mom to Ace and Aria and grandmother to Grayson and Kaiya. “It shows them that some people have a hard time and just need a helping hand. You can never go wrong with helping someone.”
The children were burdened to help the homeless after seeing a homeless man on the side of the road. Shannon took that opportunity to educate her children on the disparities that some people face.
“I explained that sometimes people go through hard times and that their uncle was homeless once,” Shannon said. “He wouldn’t accept help from his family, but St. Matthew’s House fed him, got him clothes and helped him find a job.”
And it was just a few days after this conversation that the kids decided to start raising money for the homeless.
“At first I thought it was just a one-time thing going out making about $120, but from there it just escalated,” Shannon said. “I’m super proud of them because it’s a big deal when you’re that little to think of other people.”
After they finished their tour, the four kids presented their cash donation to Steve Brooder, interim CEO of St. Matthew’s House, who personally thanked them for their hard work and generous spirit.
“This is so meaningful,” Steve said. “Just to see their faces understand that they’re really helping us here at the shelter to help the homeless. It means a lot to them, and it means a lot to St. Matthew’s House.”
Sometimes the smallest people have the biggest hearts, and that’s certainly true when it comes to Ace, Aria, Grayson and Kaiya. Though summer is over, and they’re back to busy schedules full of school and sports, they look forward to continuing to raise money to help others in the community.
To view more photos of the kids touring Campbell Lodge, check out this gallery from Naples Daily News.
If you’re interested in learning more about the work we do at Campbell Lodge, you can schedule your own Tour of Hope. And to learn about other ways you can help our organization, click here.
Tags: Campbell Lodge, Homelessness, shelter