Our younger generation

To the Editor:

My husband and I have lived in the NEK for almost 35 years now, and have grown to dearly love this area. When we retired a few years ago, we knew that did not want to live elsewhere as we had developed a sincere appreciation of the caring nature of our community. Participation in the Northeast Kingdom Youth Service's Shelter Walk can be a very meaningful experience that can help promote, and sustain this caring nature in the younger generation living in our NEK. I feel that this event represents an ideal educational "tool" for schools with their students, and families with their children, in the development of their community awareness. Appropriately, the theme of this year's Walk is "Footsteps to Awareness".

The Shelter Walk will be held on Saturday, Oct. 8, starting with registration at the St. Johnsbury School at 9:30 a.m. This event includes a fun-filled morning of entertainment, awards, and a free barbecue for Walk participants.

More importantly, the Shelter Walk offers a wonderful opportunity for schools and families to help promote an awareness in the youth of our community that there are indeed members of their generation, here in the NEK, who are homeless. These homeless youth might be sleeping in the streets, in a car, or going from couch to couch. Often the causes of their current situation are due to factors beyond their control. Regardless of the causes, the result is that these young people from our neighborhood are living very disadvantaged lives. In addition to providing safe housing, the Elm Street Shelter assists these youth in acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to support a successful transition to independent living. The three-mile Walk includes a stop at the Elm Street Shelter, providing an opportunity for participants to see the Shelter first hand.

I hope that our community at large will chose to participate in this event, whether as a member of a team, or as an individual. What a wonderful way to show our youth in need that we care!

Marti Walther

East Burke, Vt.

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