Child homelessness isn’t something we are confronted with daily. Some may not even realize it exists in our community, but it is everywhere. It’s in every city across the nation. In fact, over 2.5 million children will experience homelessness this year – that’s 1 in 30 kids. That’s why National Homeless Youth Awareness month, held each November, is so very important.
While meeting students’ educational needs is at the heart of what we do, we also work to bring awareness to and educate our community on the issues that surround child homelessness. The more people who understand the widespread impact of homelessness, the more people we have working together as a community to provide solutions to end child homelessness and its devastating effects.
Here are eight ways you can join us in bringing greater awareness and support to the children who need it most during November and throughout the year. We’ve broken it out into categories, so find the ones that speaks most to you!
Educate yourself. We’re (obviously) all about education at School on Wheels. Learning more about youth homelessness is the first step to making a big impact in our community!
1. Sunday, November 6: Join us at Closing in on the Homestretch
Join us at Central Library for a screening of The Homestretch, presented by our friends at CHIP Indianapolis as part of Spirit and Place Festival. The event, which starts at 1pm, will include a screening of the documentary, a Q&A session with educator Maria Rivera (featured in the film), a panel discussion with Indy youth experiencing homelessness, as well as an activity session with participants to generate ways we can end youth homelessness in Indianapolis. It’s a great way to kick off Homeless Youth Awareness Month! Click here to learn more and to RSVP.
Advocate. Many people are unaware that youth homelessness is an issue that impacts our community. During this month, help us spread the word about youth homelessness to your networks.
2. Tuesday, November 8: Make sure to vote!
One of the best ways to advocate for the students we serve is to ensure that your voice is heard! Make sure to vote on Election Day: Tuesday, November 8. If you need more information about local candidates and their positions on education, check out our resources blog, and make sure to check your polling place before Tuesday!
3. Follow along on social media
We will be sharing information, statistics and stories about homelessness and the students we serve throughout the entire month of November, and even more so during Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (November 12-20). Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn using #NHYAM and #HHAW to see all of the stories, and be sure to share our updates all month long.
4. Donate your profile picture
During the month of November, let all of your friends know that YOU are part of the solution to end childhood homelessness by adding our frame to your profile picture on Facebook. Coming soon!
Support our kids. It takes the support of the entire community to make sure we are able to meet the educational needs of the families we serve. We hope that you’ll join us this month!
5. Monday, November 28: Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday is coming! While you peruse the deals that Amazon will have that day, make sure you’re checking them out on smile.amazon.com. If you choose School on Wheels Corp. as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile, we get .5% back on every purchase. Pro Tip: To up your support game, check out this awesome Google Chrome add-on that redirects every Amazon page to Smile.
6. Monday, November 28: Rockstone Pizza Giveback Day
After your day of deal-getting on Cyber Monday, make sure to grab lunch or dinner at Rockstone in Nora! On Monday, November 28, Rockstone Pizzeria and Pub in Nora will donate 30% of sales for all dine in, carry out or delivery orders from 11am-11pm when you mention School on Wheels. Check out our Facebook event, be sure to share with you family and friends, and remember to mention School on Wheels when you make your order!
7. Tuesday, November 29: #GivingTuesday
Each year, on #GivingTuesday, people around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation on #GivingTuesday and taking an #unselfie to share on social media to let others know about your support.
8. Register your Kroger & Marsh Cards
Right in time for that last-minute cranberry sauce purchase: if you shop at Kroger or Marsh, make sure to register your cards so you support School on Wheels with each purchase! To register your Kroger card, sign into Kroger Community Rewards and search for us using our name, School on Wheels, or our organization number, 66739. For Marsh, click here and enter your Marsh card number and our school code – 49398. After that, you’ll be supporting students experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis each time you shop – during Thanksgiving, Christmas and throughout the whole year!
Can we count you in to get involved during Homeless Youth Awareness Month?