For Students Who Want to Get Involved

Posted On March 26, 2015 By | No Comments on For Students Who Want to Get Involved

Our #172vt campaign is an effort to bring attention to the urgent and growing needs of homeless children. The number of homeless children nationally has surged in recent years to all-time record highs. Vermont has echoed these disturbing trends. Today, one in every 30 children in the United States is homeless.

Every year, we examine the issue in our own community. We conduct a count of homeless students and toddlers in Chittenden County. These children are often the hidden and unseen face of homelessness.

This year, there were 140 school-aged children, plus 32 children under age 5.  That makes 172 homeless children in our community.

To put that number in perspective, 172 children fills 4 school buses, 8 classrooms, or 14 school basketball teams.  There are 44 Dunkin Donuts franchises in the entire state of Vermont.  That means there are 4 times as many homeless children in out community as there are Dunkin Donuts in the whole state.   We want to raise awareness about this startling number. And, we want to end homelessness – one child at a time.  One homeless child is a tragedy.  172 homeless children is a crisis.

Homelessness is often invisible, especially among students.  Homeless students look exactly like other kids in their school.  Their peers, for the most part, don’t know that they are going through hard times.  If you are a student and you’d like to raise awareness or help out the struggling members of your community, these are some ways to get involved.

1.  Register for the Walk!  Take pledges from your family and friends and walk in solidarity with the 172 homeless children in our community.

2. Take the COTS Walk Challenge:  Set a goal of fundraising $1000 dollars for COTS, which would prevent a family from becoming homeless.  An anonymous donor has generously donated $15,000 as a matching grant for Challenge Walker donations. So, your Walk efforts go even further when you agree to take the challenge.

3. Try to find 172 people to join you in registering for the Walk.

4.  Have a collection drive to collect 172 pairs of new children’s socks.

5.  Collect 172 bottles to deposit and give the refund to COTS.

6.  Have a Bubble Gum Day at your school.

7.  Organize a #172vt event at your school:  Invite 172 students to stand with you outside during your lunch out to create a powerful image.  Take a photo, and COTS will share it on social media.  Let us know ahead of time, and we will bring our giant #172vt banner.

8.  Have a lemonade or bake sale in your school or neighborhood and charge $1.72 for each item.

9. Print out 172 of the #172vt posters and hang them around your community.

10. Get 172 signatures on a petition for more affordable housing and early education programming.

11. Put up 172 small flags on your front yard or school campus (with permission, of course) to represent the 172 homeless children in Chittenden County.

12. Write a guest blog post for our website.  Let us know what #172vt means to you.

13.  Have a car wash with the goal of washing 172 cars!

14. Have a garage sale and try to raise $172.

15.  Get a group of friends and make friendship bracelets or other crafts for kids staying with us in shelter.

Categories: COTS Shelters, Donations, Fundraisers, Homeless Prevention, Homelessness, Social Media

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