This is a student written post highlighting Team Wonder's great work around their theme of empathy. This post was authored by Elise, Sophie, Kate, Kaylyn, Connor, Stella, Samara and was published this week in the Shelburne News - we share it here in case you missed this nice summary of both their work and their writing ability.
Team Wonder during their visit to the Spectrum Youth Center
Editor’s Note: Team Wonder is a fourth- and fifth-grade looping team at Shelburne Community School. Students join the team as fourth graders and remain for fifth grade. The theme of Team Wonder is empathy, so students on the team participate in community outreach projects as well as ongoing conversations about kindness and thoughtfulness. Spectrum Youth and Family Services is a nonprofit organization located in Burlington, Vt. serving teens, young adults, and their families through counseling, housing, and other support services.
This year, Team Wonder went to Spectrum. In this article, we will tell you about what we did there, how they help, what the conditions are like, and how you can help. We hope that you will contribute and help out our Vermont community. If you’d like to learn more about our trip, read the rest of the article.
When I saw where teenagers live, I felt empathy for them; I felt like I was walking into somebody’s home. It looked like a college dormitory. What they do is provide a sandwich and talk about what you want to be in life; when teens who come to Spectrum talk about what they want to be, they try and get a job.
Spectrum helps by giving teens a home or a place for the night when they don’t have anywhere to stay. Spectrum also helps by getting the teens a job to earn money for college, and for a house.
In the winter, if they see anyone who needs help with a coat, clothes, or shoes, Spectrum will help with this. Also in the winter, if they see anyone that is homeless, they will take them inside and give them a home for a while until they get back on their feet. When people come to Spectrum, they get a mentor to look for a job. Mentors also give advice.
Because Spectrum is a nonprofit business, they get no money, so we can help with donations of money and donations of stuff you use in your house. They also get money from the public and businesses that help them. For example, they have business partners who help advertise and donate to Spectrum.
Spectrum is a non-profit homeless shelter. Their money comes from donations from the public and companies. Our class went there and saw what Spectrum does to help our community, and we learned what we can do to help support Spectrum. Spectrum takes donations of supplies, including things like socks, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, etc. We hope that you would like to donate stuff. More information is on their website at www.spectrumvt.org.
Their 2015 annual report has a pie chart showing how much money they get, and these are some of the percentages. Spectrum mostly runs on donations, and 53% of their money comes from donations. Only 41% comes from federal sources and the United Way. Spectrum helps our community because they want to help others. I hope you will help so that they will get more monetary donations so more teens can be helped.
This is a brief review of what we did and what we realized when we got to Spectrum.
When you walk in, you see a normal house with games and couches and fun stuff. What we thought was, “Huh, this is it? Really? This looks like a house.” So we went in and heard all about how they help people with life situations. We walked into the upstairs.
When we went into Spectrum, there was the drop-in center. There were two groups. One group went to the bedrooms, the other asked questions, and then the groups switched. There were four bedrooms in the drop-in center. The drop-in center is where all the donations and more money go. The drop-in center also provides free meals, use of computer and phones, and a place to do laundry and get clothing. There are showers and classes on life skills, and teens can get help with getting a home. When we went, we brought donations such as the items on the list below.
What they need: Belts; men’s shoes, sizes 10-12 (preferably sneakers); backpacks; menstrual products; women’s professional clothing, preferably in sizes small and medium; notebooks; binders; pencils and other school supplies; winter boots; boxers and bikini underwear; leggings and long underwear; sleeping bags; tents; lip balm; headphones; clothing hangers; socks (preferably ankle socks); Wii games/board games; a blender; laundry detergent; Pyrex/Tupperware with lids. Thank you!