Berrien Community Foundation youth serve Emergency Shelter clients for the holidays

Published 12:21 pm Thursday, December 21, 2023

BENTON HARBOR — Berrien Community Foundation’s Teens Exhibiting Able Minds is helping keep people facing homelessness warm and cozy this holiday season by providing care packages.

T.E.A.M. called on the Blanket Brigade to show them how to make no-sew tie blankets to give to people staying with Emergency Shelter Services over the holiday season. T.E.A.M. made 20 care packages that included the blankets, games, gloves, water bottles, and ESS-recommended items such as body wash, lotion and combs.

T.E.A.M. is the youth advisory committee for Berrien Community Foundation and is made up of high school students from across the county to serve as the voice of youth in philanthropy at a local level.

Emergency Shelter Services has been the first point of contact for homelessness prevention for more than 40 years in Berrien County and is the only family shelter in the area.

“During this year’s holiday season, the need is so great and to have a group such as T.E.A.M. to provide the packages is such a blessing to our clients,” said ESS Executive Director Reshella Hawkins.

“This was a great project to get T.E.A.M. in the holiday spirit,” said T.E.A.M. Chair Daniel McKee, a senior at Brandywine High School. “It was nice to interact with fellow T.E.A.M. members and work as a team while learning about all the work Emergency Shelter Services does for their clients. BCF Program Director Susan Matheny explained to us the housing shortage in Berrien County, and we knew we wanted to help people who are displaced in any way we can.”

T.E.A.M.’s mission is to empower youth to develop lifelong values of generosity, leadership and volunteerism. For more information, visit www.berriencommunity.org/team.