Tyler Goes Homeless... with Books - April 16, 2009
Posted by Tyler Hilton
Once again, our kick ass director, Dana, did her research and found an organization called Beyond Shelter in downtown L.A. After talking to some of the saints who run the show down there, we decided they could really benefit from our fundraising. Originally we started this charity to help kids have access to books, and when possible, the opportunity to take home books of their own.
The crisis center for Beyond Shelter is where families go when they've just been put out on the street and have no idea what to do next. The staff helps parents find housing and work if necessary. Unlike homeless shelters, they help find homes for families and offer education on how to keep the families stable by staying housed. They accept two parent families and boys over 11. Most shelters don't.
We toured the offices and met the small staff who seemed to be wearing many hats to keep the place going. They showed us the area where the kids play and read and wait while their parents are being helped to solidify their next move as a family. Hardly any toys or books were in the room. They explained that the kids are allowed to take any toys or books with them when they leave the center. Phew...what a small gesture that can mean so much! We delivered 5 boxes of books for all ages (do you know how heavy a box of books is? So, so heavy. Well...I'm not known for my muscles. I carried one box in and they asked me if I wanted a dolly. My face was probably begging for one. Uh...yeah, sure. I mean if you have one I guess I'll just use it... phew....) along with several Borders and Barnes and Noble gift cards and finally, a check for $5,500.
All of this came from you. Whether it was a bit of money you donated on the website, or some books you brought to a show, or even a gift card you donated, all of it came from you. I almost felt guilty shaking their hands, seeing their smiles, and saying "Your welcome" without you there. You would have loved it. Really, really cool guys! I offered to send some more books their way when they run out of what we gave them, but I think that's gonna last 'em awhile.
And now we're off looking for other adventures! If you have any ideas of where we can be of help or want to donate, just head over to THBooksForKids.org or MySpace.com/THBooksForKids. You'll see some photos from yesterday and from all the book collecting and distributing events we've had. Again, please send me any ideas you have for how else we can help! Meanwhile, we'll keep our own brains storming and watch with pleasure together as ideas turn into more feel good realities!
photos by Sandra Gilmore