February 23, 2017

The Giving Tour: Project 150

While Vegas was challenging to find places to help we ended up finding Project 150 at the very last minute (as in 4 days before we left Vegas). It was an incredible organization and I couldn't be happier that we are able to highlight the work that they do. 

Project 150 started with a librarian at a local high school that noticed a lot of her students didn't have the necessary school supplies, weren't eating properly and well... she just noticed something wasn't right. That woman then went to others in the community that wanted to do something about it. Now 6 years later Project 150 is in full swing helping over 2,500 local students through many different avenues. Statistics show that there are over 11.000 homeless students in the Las Vegas area alone! Luckily, Project 150 is there to help aid them in their hardships. Their mission is to offer support and services to homeless high school students in the Las Vegas area so they can stay in school through graduation and learn the life skills necessary to be successful. The staff at Project 150 have some incredible stories and I'm anxious to share them with you. The stories are truly inspiring. I got goose bumps just listening.

"Every day I'm here I know I'm in the right place"
-- Stacy Chapter, Volunteer Coordinator with Project 150

The volunteer coordinator, Stacy at Project 150 invited us in to help with a project they've been wanting to tackle. Turning a storage room into a tutoring/homework/school supply area for high schoolers in need. We were up for the task! There was stuff everywhere! We helped to organize all of the school supplies (of course, with the help of a few other volunteers) neatly on large storage shelves and just get the room all cleaned up. Our Little Miss was sure to help but not without using some of the boxes as forts and finding small treasures in between. The boys were awesome, too. They were worker bees! It wasn't always the neatest, but who cares-- they were motivated to get it all together and help out. Stacy had showed us around the building and I could tell the boys were moved by what they did there. They saw the storage area where they house school supplies and food. They saw the boutique where homeless high school students can go to shop (at no charge) for up to 30 items of clothing (shoes, underwear, bras, all types of clothing) per month. They also heard stories of hardship and hope.

Stacy told us a story about one young man who was homeless. He came to the boutique after arriving at an awards ceremony in jeans and a polo shirt. He was told he wasn't allowed to enter because he wasn't dressed appropriately (ridiculous to begin with!). Not knowing where else to turn his brother heard about Project 150. They welcomed him in with open arms and immediately went to work. They got him in dress pants, shoes and even tied his tie. Stacy told us he left a few inches taller that day-- feeling confident and proud. After all, that's how he should be feeling-- he'd been invited to an academic awards ceremony! Stacy also mentioned that his brother just kept asking in disbelief, "And this is all free?" AMAZING!

The Boutique
Stacy told us of another young man who was referred to Project 150. He came in for pants. "He owned only 3 pairs of shorts that he wore every day in winter to stay warm. He was surviving on one bag of chips a day." She told us of a 12 year old girl who had 3 younger siblings and her guardian was her ailing grandmother. She not only cared for her siblings and her grandmother-- she'd taken a bus by herself across town to a Project 150 event to ensure she was able to get Christmas presents for her siblings. She never told anyone of her hardships in fear of being taken away from her grandmother and siblings. Now, she has Project 150 to help her and put her in touch with the resources she so desperately needs. 

These stories are incredibly moving and we can see why Stacy knows she is in the right place. Stacy and the rest of the staff and volunteers at Project 150 are filling a huge need in Las Vegas. We are touched by your stories and feel honored you allowed our family to be a part of such a great organization. 

We will absolutely keep in touch Stacy and Project 150! Thank you for all you do. 

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