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A 16 YEAR OLD BOY HELPING EMPLOY THE HOMELESS

Kevin Barber

Our nation has so much access to information and technology and resources, all we could ever want is right at our fingertips. The problem is, we do not always take advantage of it the way we should. Also, far to often a good idea is presented or created, but it is never seen through, the idea is like our attention span, short lived and bouncing from one thing to another. When one is able to overcome what now seems like social norms, incredible things can happen. At 16 years old, Kevin Barber listened to TED talk and like so many, immediately became inspired. It was a talk about a program in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that employed the homeless to help clean up the streets. "It just looked really simple, and the statistics were staggering," Kevin thought. That thought developed into an idea, and then Kevin followed through.

With the help of his Mother, Kevin developed his idea into a program that they felt would work, and then reached out to the city government to start a trial run for this homeless program. It’s called “Wheels of Change”. Participants are picked up from the local homeless shelters in a van and then hit the streets, cleaning up San Diego one piece of trash at a time. San Diego has the fourth largest homeless population in America, and with the incredibly positive response the program has received from the community, the waiting list to be able to participate grows every day. Bob McElroy who works with the homeless through the non-profit Alpha Project says the impact the program has had on them is clear by just looking at the faces of the individuals associated. “It is so medicinal for our folks who have always been marginalized and irrelevant.”

Kevin is already looking to expand the program, adding more vans, to help as many homeless as they can. Just because an idea seems too good to be true, doesn’t mean it can’t become a reality. All it takes is the right person acting as the driving force, And Kevin Barber is that right person.

YOUNG LADY SPENDS HER BIRTHDAY HELPING THE HOMELESS, AND WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY

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Jordyn Burch embodies everything we are trying to highlight in this world and embodies someone who truly deserves to be recognized. By doing things with the sole purpose of helping those in need and bringing a community closer together rather than further separating it, one can create a contagious energy that trickles down into those impacted by one's generosity and continues to spread. These are the stories that need to be shared.

A story of a young lady who wanted nothing more for her birthday than to give back to the homeless and unsheltered in her community. She wasn’t exactly sure what shape that would take but ever since she saw the conditions in which so many people in her community lived she knew she had to do something. Almost as if it was fate, she heard about Central Louisiana Homeless Coalition's Freeze to the Finish 5k happening two days after her birthday and knew that was what she wanted to do to celebrate. Jordyn could barely contain her excitement and began raising money. Going through her community doing her part to bring everyone together. By race day, two days after her birthday, she had raised over $3,000 to help the homeless in her community. The Coalition was so grateful for the money she had raised they presented her with a certificate to commemorate her efforts, and some cupcakes too to help celebrate her big day.  Jordyn Burch is eight years old, eight years and this special young lady chose to spend her birthday and the weeks leading up to it giving back to individuals in her community who truly were in need. “When I was 6, me and my family went to New Orleans and I saw lots of homeless people and it broke my heart..”

Jodryn has taught us all that it does not matter your age, or size, or resources, everyone can do things to help others and bring their communities closer together. These are the stories that should be shared with our children, these are the people that should be going ‘viral’. Jordyn Burch you inspire us all to be better people, we are so happy to share your story.