Metro Teens Help in Donating to Homeless Teens

Thursday, July 23rd 2009, 5:42 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A truly remarkable group of teens is lending a helping hand to other teens with the Youth Leadership Exchange's Youth In Action program.

In the program, nearly 50 teens got together to raise money for a cause of their choice. They focused on homeless high school students. And some of the teens got a glimpse of what a difference they're making.

Thursday was the first time the teens see the food and clothing pantry built and stocked with their fundraising dollars.

"That's like my goal in life, to make a difference in the world, so that just makes me feel amazing," Chelsea Abinah with Youth Leadership Exchange said. "I almost wanted to cry."

The pantry is for homeless high school students living without guidance or support from parents. The teens handpicked this organization as the one they wanted to help.

"When we were shopping and raising money, I always kept thinking those kids are going to be so happy that they have some place to go where they can get their goods and not be ashamed about it," Harmonniey Cheadle with Youth Leadership Exchange said.

The impact is far greater than anyone here ever imagined. The youth leadership group raised more than $17,000. They were expected to come with less than half that amount.

"They came back to us and said, 'We've raised $17,200, will you be able to use it?' We were like, 'Huh? We've never had that,'" Debra Forshee with Youth Services for Oklahoma County said.

They are proof that no matter your age, you can accomplish just about anything.

"I'm really proud, words can't express how happy I am to help these kids and make a difference in my community," Cheadle said.

Youth Services for Oklahoma County said they can't thank the teens enough for their hard work and dedication.