Every year, we at DiMatteo collect and distribute Easter baskets to children in local shelters. One shelter in particular, called Inspirica, had the largest number of children residents this year. Inspirica has an amazing facility with many programs that serve homeless families.
After making the Easter Basket delivery our manager, Kim DiMatteo, felt that more should be done for the children at Inspirica. With that said, we went online to Inspirica’s website to search for other opportunities to help and we discovered Inspirica’s meal program, which allows teams of volunteers to prepare and serve an evening meal to the residents.
Here are some statistics that Inspirica provided us with:
- Are sick 4x more than children who are not
- Have 4x the rate of delayed development
- Have 3x the rate of behavioral/emotional problems
- Have 2x the rate of learning disabilities
- Homeless children demonstrate significant developmental delays after just 18 months of age.
- By age three, they have heard 32 million fewer words than their peers.
- As many as 80% of children in homeless shelters do not read at level (a statistic that is particularly troubling given 66% of students who don’t read proficiently by 4th grade end up in jail or on welfare).
Inspirica believes that focusing on children is the most effective way to break the cycle of homelessness. With that said, our team was more than elated to give.
We all know that giving helps others, whether through volunteering, emotional support or donating to charity. But there is something to be said about a team of individuals that want to help others, as a matter of fact, they leap towards the opportunity to serve or give. Everyone on the DiMatteo team volunteered their personal time and resources. A few employees brought their children to be a part of the event. There was no issue getting volunteers to sign up, and everyone came with pure excitement and items to donate to our Care packages for all the residents of the Shelter.
Not only did our team prepare and serve a meal, they actually sat down and broke bread together, socialized and laughed with the children in the program and their families. This team did more than serve, their presence even for just a moment lifted a burden off a stranger’s shoulders to help them walk a little further in their journey. One plate symbolically is one plate closer to their goals, one less thing to worry about on their list of worries. It was a privilege we hope to repeat and encourage others to do the same.
For more information on Inspricia, and the programs they provide as well as getting involved on the pursuit of breaking the cycle of homelessness click here.