On Dec. 19, Lizzy Shoben stood outside of Target, in Palmer Ranch, for seven straight hours wearing plaid pajama pants.
When she learned that one of her Riverview High School classmates was homeless, it wasn’t just that fact alone that broke her heart — every time he went to sleep, his head lay on top of a pillow that felt like it was made of rocks.
When the boy became homeless in September, he started staying at the YMCA Youth Shelter, which provides temporary housing and safe care for children ages 10 to 18 who have run away or are experiencing conflict with their families.
Shoben informed her aunt, Lisa Daily, of the pillow problem, and, together, they decided to host a pillow-and-pajama drive.
“We partnered with John Cox, of PAL Sailor Circus,” Daily said. “They will distribute the pillows and pajamas to several shelters, but the main shelter to receive them is the YMCA Youth Shelter.”
Shoben and Daily will collect pajamas and pillows again from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8., at the PAL Bowl. The bowl will be held at Riverview High School.
Last year, 248 kids stayed at the YMCA youth shelter.
“The shelter is very grateful for the pillows, because they will help the kids feel more at home during their time at the shelter,” said Nicole Hartsock, assistant director at the YMCA Youth Shelter.
YMCA Youth Shelter Program
Address: 1106 S. Briggs Ave.
Call 955-5596 or visit its Web site at http://www.sarasota-ymca.org/socialServices/youthShelter.cfm.
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