2008-10-09 / Letters to the Editor

Project a success thanks to community

You may have taken a second look as you drove by St. Matthew's Church last Saturday evening with the fire pits burning and cardboard "tents" scattered about the lawn.

It was St. Matthews' youth group's "One Night Without a Home" project-the first event, in a year-long initiative to help the hungry and homeless in Rhode Island.

Armed with nothing but the clothes on their backs to offer protection from the elements, the youth (grades 7-11) were entirely dependent upon the charity of others for food, blankets and shelter.

Thanks to the generosity of our community, the group not only survived their "one night of homelessness," but they were able to raise more than $700 for Lucy's Hearth and $300 worth of canned goods for the Johnny Cake Center.

Many thanks to the parishioners of St. Matthews, friends and neighbors who stopped by, Adrienne Downing for supplying the cardboard, local merchants who supplied food and moral support (especially the Village Hearth Bakery) and to the Cook and Schnack families for rising early to make the kids a wonderful pancake breakfast.

While spending the night outside in a lovely, generous village doesn't replicate the hardship of true homelessness, the participants still learned a signifi- cant lesson about hardship and the value of community support. Thank you, Jamestown, for showing these kids how to lend a helping hand.

Fred Glomb, Christy Ferguson, Amy Smith,

and Shawn Mayers Youth group leaders

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