When Lawrenceville middle schoolers Noelle Gorinas and Anna Hardy learned that 3,000 children in Gwinnett County face homelessness, they pulled out the slime and got to work.
Fueled by hard work and a deep desire to help make kids safe, the young Gwinnett County residents raised $1,800 to donate to Home of Hope, the only shelter in the county that helps homeless children and their mothers.
The girls turned their love of making slime into a fundraiser for the shelter with the help of Kids Boost, a non-profit that empowers kids to serve others. It took long hours and gallons of slime to raise $1,800, and the girls sold it at school events, local businesses, arts and crafts festivals and the local high school’s football games.
“Seeing how Home of Hope provides a safe place for these kids and their moms made it all worthwhile,” says Noelle, adding that there were about 40 kids at the shelter when they made their donation.
Noelle and Anna watched their work inspire others. Though the shelter was nearby, many businesses and local residents didn’t know it existed, or understand the homelessness problem in the community.
“It was a snowball effect — selling the slime to the community raised awareness of the problem and inspired other kids and their families to make a difference,” says Anna.
Noelle and her mother, Kristi Gorinas, experienced this impact at their very first stop to solicit supplies at a local grocery store. Not only did the manager donate supplies, but he also donated $100 of his own money. And when the customer in line behind them heard the story, he donated $20.
“People would light up and want to donate when they understood the money was going to help homeless children in our community,” says Noelle. “They wanted to help someone, too.”
The girls want to continue their efforts to help homeless families. They both want to raise more money and volunteer to serve those in need.
“I hope our work inspires people to help out,” says Anna. “And most importantly, I hope the kids at the shelter know that people in our community love and care about them.”
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