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Street kids hand out sack lunches downtown
           
Along with serving teens on the streets in downtown Spokane, Volunteers of America’s (VOA) Crosswalk program encourages the youth to find ways to reach out and help others.

One afternoon recently, eight teens made about 300 sack lunches with sandwiches, chips, an apple and cookies.  They took the sandwiches to hand out to people at the bus plaza.

Stephen Miller, Crosswalk director, said the program has done this service project in recent years as a way the youth can give back to the community.

“Two of the girls said it felt nice to do something for someone else,” he said.  “Often the teens do not think about or have the opportunity to help someone else.”

For Christmas, he said youth need socks, gloves and hats.

“No matter who they are, kids are hopeful about Christmas and appreciate any gifts they receive,” he said.

In other VOA of the Inland Northwest programs, Marilee Roloff, executive director, said that as at this time each year, she supplies books for the Christmas Bureau, so each child can have a book for Christmas.

For Hope House, the main needs are for blankets and towels.

Related to VOA’s social service programs, she said, “we are seeing either small decreases or flattening of federal and state funding every year, except with the veteran’s programs,” she said.

“As other nonprofits, we continue to rely more and more on private giving, but that’s not as stable as government contracts,” Marilee said.  “We work on more private giving.

“So we keep appealing for a little bit here, a little bit there, and eventually the little bits add up,” she added.  “God bless our local givers.”

For information, call 624-2378.





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