The donations kept pouring in until the volunteers finally packed away the donation table out front. Those of us in Houston would like to thank all of our subjects for allowing us to tell their stories, the hard-working staff at Covenant House, all the volunteers, and the countless Houstonians who came out to Do 1 Thing today.
Andres checks out some donated sneakers in a room that was filled to overflowing. It took three rooms like this to handle the outpouring of donations from the community. (Photo by Smiley N. Pool)
Writer Jessica Johns Pool got into the spirit of the day. (Photo by Smiley N. Pool)
To learn more about Houston’s Do1Thing team, visit these Web sites:
Dave Einsel, photographer: www.daveeinsel.com
Amina Rivera, writer: www.dailycougar.com
Robert Seale, photographer: www.robertseale.com
Todd Spoth, visual journalist: www.toddspoth.com
Jessica Johns Pool, writer: www.jjpeditorial.com
Smiley Pool, photojournalist: www.smileypool.com
Andres has had his teddy bear since he was 1 year old and it’s traveled the world with him.
“I’ve had it everywhere through everything. I’ve had it since before my mother left me,” said Andres. “We’ve been to Nicaragua (his mother’s home), to New York, California, Washington, the road trips, the street.”
Andres likens it to the Harry Potter character who puts his soul into an object. “That bear is basically my soul.”
Andres loves baseball, wants to be a graphic designer and plays guitar.
Dave Einsel photographs Andres with his cherished teddy bear. (Photo by Smiley N. Pool)
Did you know that 1.3 million people under 21 live on the streets or in shelters? That’s why services for homeless teens are so needed, and why Do1Thing wants to bring attention to these children in need.
Here at Covenant House in Houston, donations continue to come in. More toiletries and clothes have arrived, along with a big pile of sofa pillows. The San Jacinto Girl Scout troop 3599, clad in badge-covered vests, are working hard, waving in vans, cars and trucks to the unloading zone. Everyone gets a red heart lollipop as a thank-you.
The first tour just finished, and as she was leaving one of the ladies, commented, “I’m so glad to know this is here.”
Services provided by Covenant House to youth under 21 include:
- Shelter designed to teach independent living
- Medical care, such as physical exams, HIV/AIDS testing and referrals to specialists
- Counseling, bible studies and other support
- Life skills training, such as budgeting and interviewing skills
- GED classes, tutoring and vocational training
- Six months of after-care for youth who transition to independent living
A resident sits on the porch as volunteers wait for donations. (Photo by Smiley N. Pool)
Angela, featured in today’s Houston Chronicle, also stopped by for an introduction. To say she’s lively is an understatement. She and Corderro are both getting teased non-stop about their “new-found fame,” as one of the counselors said.
Angela is president of the resident council, which she says is similar to a student council at school. She’s proud of being competitive, she says, and teases her counselor Shaun about owing her another dinner at Dave & Buster’s. However, the teasing focuses back on Angela when she introduces fellow resident Curtis as “one of my cabinet.”
Angela hugs a fellow Covenant House resident. (Photo by Smiley N. Pool)
Plenty of people are already doing one thing! Donations began arriving at 9 a.m. today and by 9:45 cars were streaming by, with Girl Scouts and Covenant House residents helping to unload bags of clothes, toiletries, a painting and a pair of crutches. Two industrial-sized laundry hampers are already filled over the brim.
The supplies are much needed, so bring your donations to Covenant House at 1111 Lovett Blvd. It’s located just behind the Copy.com, Half-Priced Books and Spec’s store on Westheimer at Montrose.
The Houston Chronicle ran a story in today’s Metro section, so go get a copy if you haven’t seen it already. The story, written by reporter Claudia Feldman and photographed by Smiley N. Pool, features Covenant House residents Angela and Corderro.
Angela is working on getting her beautician’s license and Corderro is working his way up the restaurant career ladder with the goal of becoming a pastry chef and restauranteur.
Read about these kids on www.chron.com.
Girls Scouts from Troop 3599 help collect donations on Valentine's Day at Covenant House Texas. (Photo by Smiley N. Pool)