Central Ohio high-schooler crowdfunds for homeless youth
To help keep homeless youth warm this winter, a Dublin, Ohio, teen donated 100 sleeping bags to Star House.
Anshuman Mishra, 17, and his parents made the donation Dec. 14 as the culmination of a summer-long project.
Star House is a drop-in center for homeless youth, ages 14-24, in central Ohio. It helps transitional youth get services so they can connect or reconnect with the community.
Mishra, a junior at Dublin Jerome High School, started his project after seeing a homeless man in his suburban neighborhood trying to protect himself from the winter elements with just a jacket and a backpack.
“It struck me as not being right,” he said. “Nobody should be forced to weather winter without any protection.”
After seeing this man, Mishra discussed homelessness with his parents and did research about what he could do to help. He settled on a sleeping bag drive after learning about a similar endeavor in Toronto.
Mishra raised awareness in his community and asked neighbors, church members and others to support his effort by donating. He raised more than $3,000 as well as negotiated with a retailer to get discounts on the sleeping bags so the money could help more people.
“We are really happy that he didn’t just feel bad, and then come home and sleep in his warm bed,” said Snigdha Mishra, Anshuman’s mother. “If we could get more people to think like him, think of the difference we could make.”
To get involved with Star House and help make a difference in the lives of vulnerable young people, email volunteer coordinator Heather Messer.
You also can support Star House by giving to the Homeless Youth Fund.
Your donation will allow Star House to provide direct outreach, mental health and trauma therapy, nutritious meals and many more services to youth living on the streets of central Ohio. If you would like to make a multi-year pledge, please contact Andrea Bowlin, chief advancement officer, 614-292-6516.