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Sons of Italy group collects gifts for children experiencing homelessness

1/10/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Project RISE
AKRON — In November, Akron’s Sons of Italy Lodge No. 685 collected and wrapped more than 400 toys and games for children served by Project RISE (Realizing Individual Strength through Education). Project RISE is a federally funded, collaborative effort by Akron Public Schools, local shelters and the Akron community to provide supplemental educational services to children and youth experiencing homelessness. Project RISE staff members delivered the gifts to children residing in Akron homeless shelters Dec. 20.

The Sons of Italy Akron Lodge No. 685 fulfilled one of its missions of dedication to helping those less fortunate with the toy drive for Project RISE, according to Project RISE officials. This is the fourth year the Sons of Italy has collaborated with Project RISE to donate the presents to the children experiencing homelessness.

Gifts donated by group members include puzzles, educational games, art supplies, bath and body products, gift certificates, journals, school supplies, pajamas, shoes, other clothing items, special jewelry and memory boxes. This year, the Sons of Italy planned a Toy Wrapping Party that took place Nov. 29 at the Anthony Funeral Home Community Room. Numerous volunteers from the Sons of Italy and Project RISE staff members participated, as shown at left.

To date this school year, more than 500 students who are experiencing homelessness have been identified and served, according to Project RISE officials. It is anticipated that the numbers will be more than 1,000 when this school year ends. Last year more than 997 students who had lost their housing were identified and served. 

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