BHS students raise over $6K for youth homelessness

By Aaron Reynolds
The Surveyor

Thursday, May 5, at Berthoud High School a group of 20-plus students were treated to the Give Next awards brunch celebrating a year-long volunteer assignment designed to help with youth homelessness here within the Larimer County community.

The students decided to focus on homelessness this year after many were stunned by the sheer number of youth without adequate means to shelter, clothing, nutrition, and so much more. The students were tasked with researching non-profits that would help combat this issue and thus spent the past several months raising money and then awarding grants that were officially announced at Thursday’s awards banquet.

BHS’s Give Next leader and long-time faculty member Carin Barrett commented to the newspaper in a statement via email: “The students did a wonderful job articulating the reasons they saw to support these particular agencies – it was easy to see the students had both gained understanding of the issue at-large and learned things about what services they think are most important when it comes to preventing homelessness in families and improving the lives of homeless youth.”

When Barrett was first interviewed by the Surveyor early this year she informed that the students hoped to raise $1,000 through the community by the end of April – a goal they shattered by nearly $300. Fundraisers ranged from a “Bucket Brigade” at a series of BHS basketball games, to online fundraising, to a generous donation from the Berthoud Presbyterian Church.

In addition to funds raised through the high school the Serimus Foundation (via the Bohemian Foundation) pledged $5,000 to the Give Next campaign. Serimus — based out of Fort Collins — “provides opportunities for children of low-income families to develop skill and knowledge that will enrich and expand their lives”.

Funds were donated to the following recipients:

Matthew’s House ($2,000): Funds to support “Life Skills” program that helps homeless youth learn a variety of skills aimed at reversing their current situation.

Thompson Education Foundation Homeless Assistance Fund ($1,500): Organization provides a variety of needs to unaccompanied youth and parents attending schools in the district.

House of Neighborly Service ($1,200): Funds raised will cover gasoline and maintenance on a van used for transportation services associated with Angel House.

Hearts & Horses ($1,080): Organization’s Changing Leads program provides scholarships for unaccompanied youth to participate in an activity.

Homeless Gear ($500): Organization’s Children in Need program provides a variety of needed items and services to low-income or homeless families.