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Be the change

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As people around the country spend hours online and in shopping malls searching for the perfect holiday gifts, others struggle to put food on the table. Homelessness, a recurring crisis in the United States, affects families in the Fort Wayne community as well. Vincent Village, an organization located downtown, provides support to homeless families in an effort to assist in the rebuilding of their lives.

Recently, the club, the Network partnered with MudLOVE to sell the company’s bracelets, which say “Be the Change,” as a fundraiser for Vincent Village. Because of the familiarity of the company MudLOVE and its close business origins, the Network decided to partner with them.

“Our involvement with Vincent Village is a part of us trying to be the change,” Grace McGuire (11) said. “By selling those bracelets for $10, all of the profits will go to their organization.”

While there are many homeless shelters, Vincent Village differs in that it is the only transitional facility for families. In most shelters, men and women must live separately, but the combining of gender units at Vincent Village allows families to stay together. For example, each family is provided with their own private room.

“We decided to partner with Vincent Village because of how important transitional homes are to the homeless families in Fort Wayne,” Catherine Milne (11) said.

Not only does Vincent Village provide family units for housing, they provide services that enable people to escape the cycle of homelessness. For example, tutoring services are provided to kids after school and volunteers assist clients with resume building.

The meaning of “Be the Change” on the bracelets is a part of how the Network strives to change and influence the population for the better.

“The Network ‘networks’ with other clubs to try to get everyone on board with one goal we are trying to achieve,” McGuire said. “We do projects within the school and outside of the school to promote positivity.”  

In the end, the Network successfully raised over $1000 for Vincent Village in just one week.

“In the bigger picture, we are trying to be the change through all of our involvement in the community,” McGuire said. “One way is through Vincent Village and we are going to continue to expand that.”

The fundraiser offered a positive change for the club as they grew from the experience.

“I think we’ve grown closer as a club because it took everyone in the club to be a part of the fundraiser in order for it to be so successful,” McGuire said.

To specify, members reached out to others in the community in an effort to sell more bracelets. Additionally, during school hours, different members were in charge of handling the sale of bracelets.

Through other projects such as the Positivity Campaign, the Network has proved to serve its mission. In the Positivity Campaign, students wrote down positive goals, which they would strive to achieve, on index cards. The cards were displayed during video announcements.

“The goal of the Network is to make a positive impact on Homestead and the community,” Milne said.


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