Anthony Spino, one of the owners of the venerable Anthony's Restaurant at 701 Grand Avenue, and his family are delivering a Christmas tree to the ReStart Youth Shelter on Friday night. Earlier today he sent out this moving e-mail, requesting help.
ReStart Youth Shelter is a shelter that helps out our homeless teens. They started with 3 beds a little over a year ago and now are up to 10 beds. They are full and sadly there is a big need for 10X this much space. They are supported by United Way. These kids are very special... they have left home for some things none of us would ever dream of doing to our kids, dogs, or enemies. Other have been abandoned. Once the lights get turned off and the food runs out they are on their own. One special guy had his dad head to jail and mom left with some other man. He slept in various places until he was picked up by the police. This all happened over a 6 month period.. the same time he was on A honor roll at school and the Student Council president. (www.restartinc.org)
These kids could go to the streets and seek protection by joining a gang. That's very easy to do. But they are trying to do the right thing. At their age they are too near to 'get into the system' which kicks the kids to the streets at 18. This group gets them to schools, places them in transitional housing, helps find jobs, provides counseling, and other resources.
Friday night we are bringing the Shelter a tree, having pizza delivered and having a decorating party. We need lights, fabric for a skirt, and any old decorations you haven't seen so many years or you don't even pull out of the box. I will be glad to pick it up, you can drop it at Anthony's at 701 Grand, or St. John La Lande.
It inspired me to go down to my basement and start looking through the boxes of Christmas stuff for a few good ornaments to drop over at Anthony's. If you'd like to do the same, Anthony's is located on the southeast corner of 7th and Grand. For more information, call the restaurant at 816-221-4088.