Teaming up to shine light on homeless youths

On Valentine’s Day this year hundreds of volunteers came together to shine a light on the plight of the nation’s homeless youths. The project was called Do 1 Thing, a team effort of Covenant House and the Heart Gallery of New Jersey.

In a 24-hour period at Covenant House shelters across the country, from Washington to Los Angeles and New York to New Orleans, people got involved in a variety of activities, from collecting donations to working in the clothing room to serving lunch to the kids.

And it was all documented by award-winning photographers, videographers and writers organized by the Heart Gallery. They all donated their time.

Covenant House spokesman Tom Manning told Catholic News Service yesterday that he was “grateful and humbled” by the efforts of everyone involved.

The Heart Gallery was launched in 2005 by Najlah Hicks and Pim Van Hemmen and some of the nation’s top photographers to use images to tell the stories of  foster children available for adoption — “because everyone deserves a family,” as the gallery’s motto says. Manning said Hicks knew somebody at Covenant House and wondered about using the same approach to telling the story of the nation’s 1.3 homeless youths. So Do 1 Thing was born.

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