Feel Good Friday | Teen Donates Prize- Winning Pizza to Homeless Shelter

Let’s be honest, Friday couldn’t come fast enough amirite?

Well the frickin’ weekend isn’t the only reason to slap a smile on your exhausted face.

Here’s another. Detroit native Hannah Spooner won $500 dollars worth of free Little Caesar’s pizzas through a contest.

Instead of throwing an epic pizza party for friends, family and neighbors, the 19-year-old exercised the art of paying it forward by donating her prize to the local Covenant House Michigan shelter for homeless young kids.

The Huffington Post reports Hannah scoped out a number of charities and orgs before settling on Covenant House.

The shelter’s organizers are more than grateful with her decision.

“Our kids would eat pizza everyday,” Melissa Golpe, the shelter’s PR director told, The Huffington Post. “We have a number of generous people that do really special things for our kids.”

Little Caesar’s did one more thing, the pizza chain threw a free pizza party at the shelter during the shelter’s Total Me Program, where local college kids mentor teens at Covenant House,when they got wind of the story.

 

MCM | Big Sean Donates $25K to Stop Student Homelessness

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Remember the Lifetime flick “Homeless to Harvard”?

No…well it’s about this girl that winds up homeless, but is super bright and gets into Haaahhhvaaad. With a decent scholarship, of course. The reason I bring up Liz Murray’s story–the movie is based on a true story, BTW–is because there are thousands of Liz Murray’s annnndddd James Ward‘s that have the academic potential but limited resources to fulfill their dreams.

In a effort to change that fate Wayne State’s first lady Jacqueline Wilson created HIGH (Helping Individuals Go Higher). The Wayne State University’s program is designed to provide basic necessities to homeless Wayne State students or those with shaky housing situations, so they can focus on their studies.

D-native son and rapper Big Sean blessed the program with a $25,000 endowment through his Sean Anderson Foundation. The 25G’s will be used to give short-term relief to those struggling to make ends meet and balance a full course load.

The HIGH program launched in 2013 when Jacqueline came across a homeless student at Wayne State University. HIGH’s long-term goal is to help students become more stable and boost graduation rates.

Both appeal to Big Sean’s mom who is the president of the Sean Anderson Foundation.

“We see the HIGH Program as an important component of ensuring success at Wayne State, and we are proud to help strengthen its mission.” said Myra Anderson on their partnership.

To donate to the program or learn more click here.

 

IYB Woman Crush | Delivering Solutions to Homelessness

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Veronika Scott and an Empowerment Plan employee

Happy New Year!!

I’ll spare you the new year, new me mantra (insert eyeroll here) I espoused last year around this time. Or the laundry list of resolutions I’d likely break this week. I’ll approach 2016 with Nike philosophy–just do it. And encourage everyone else to do the same.

Before charging toward your goal like a Kardashian stalking a TMZ camera crew, take some notes on how it’s done from Veronika Scott. She’s the 24-year-old Founder and CEO (yaaaasss, honey!!) of Detroit-based non-profit The Empowerment Plan. The org hires homeless women as seamstresses to make coats that transform into sleeping bags for the homeless.

Veronika’s aha! moment came as a result of a college class assignment (she majored in Industrial Design at College for Creative Studies) to “design something to fill actual needs.” After visiting homeless shelters to gage their needs the slumber coats were born. During the day they serve as a normal winter coat and at night a flap is brought down and can be stepped into up to the knees, then zipped up like a regular ol’ sleeping bag.

The Motor City has a homeless population of 34,642, according to Michigan’s Campaign to End Homelessness. Overall there are over 86,000 people in Michigan without homes and 69 percent are single moms.

Veronika realized her slumber coats were a good start, but not the answer to preventing homelessness. When a woman living in the shelter told her to forfeit the outerwear for some much needed jobs.

Veronika did just that. The Empowerment Plan hires only people living in homeless shelters. And not just as seamstresses they are trained in manufacturing and tech as well. Whatever will help lead them closer to an independent life. The org has it sewed up.

” I believe people can tackle far more than they think they can.” Veronika says.

Thanks to Veronica and all those like her for making the path straighter.

Click here to donate and here to order a coat from the Empowerment Plan.

 

 

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY | Street Cuts

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Mark Bustos likes to work on his day off. Although he wouldn’t call it working, but rather connecting with oft-overlooked people. The ones we struggle to make eye contact with or afraid to approach. Mark, a NYC-based hairstylist, walks right up to the homeless and offers a free haircut.

The hair magician got the idea when he took a trip to his motherland–the Philippines–for the first time. He saw how impoverished the people were and wanted to help in some way. Giving young kids a shape-up was one good deed he knew would work.

Back in the States he made it a routine. Sundays (his day off) he roams around the city and delicately provides his services. Karma Tube captured his skillful generosity towards homeless people in South Beach, Florida, check it out below.

Guess this totally trumps me giving my seat to a pregnant lady on the subway…yeah, I think so.

Happy Friday, loves.

Tyler Perry Donates $45K to Atlanta Teen Homeless Shelter

perryphilanthropyMega producer (and to Spike Lee’s chagrin, creator of the wise cracking, law breaking grandmom Madea) Tyler Perry shows he loves the children by donating $45,000 to an Atlanta teen shelter at risk of closing.

The “If Loving You is Wrong” producer spent his 45th b-day making teens and their families dreams come true by keeping the Young People Matter shelter’s doors open to the 6,000 they service, until the end of the year.

The shelter’s $580,000 grant that lasted three years will expire at the end of this month.

Perry stopped by the shelter last week to talk with the kids at the facility that boasts of being the only “24-hour bed space to both males and females under 18” in Atlanta. And the shelter only has five beds!?!

Watch the news coverage of Young People Matter shelter

According to Access Atlanta, Perry’s PR reps confirmed the $45,000 donation was meant to coincide with his 45th year on Earth. You gotta love the symmetry of his philanthropy.

The president of the board on Young People Matter, Andrew Bostic, hopes others will follow in the famous filmmaker’s footsteps in supporting their shelter’s mission.

To make a donation to Young People Matter shelter, click here

Considering how open Perry is in discussing his past life of homelessness (he once quipped to Essence, “Can you imagine a 6-foot-five man sleeping in a Geo Metro?) it’s inspiring he reached back to help others in the same dilemma.