Shelby Kelley

Daily Point of Light # 3951 Mar 26, 2009

Every day I see people in need, they are walking down the street. There are 2 and 3 families living in one house, families of 5 and 6 living in one bedroom apartments, there are no jobs, life is hard. I am not rich nor is my family, however if we have a dollar or $5 we help someone. It’s just how it should be, love your neighbor. How many paychecks are you from being hungry, cold or homeless? Think about it, half of Americans are only a few paychecks from just that so we have to help when you can.

Crime is rising, homelessness is rising and the poverty level is almost out of control. There are too few shelters for help and even though there are some who don’t want help there are that many more who do want help. I started Teens Save Inc. in 2005 and we have been going strong ever since, adding new members and getting involved. I sit and listen to people cry and then work out where the problem exists. If it means education or home foreclosure, we find that help. If they are hungry, I feed them. I have talked to my mom and had 3 people that would have otherwise been homeless, live with us and now they are back on their own and doing well.

This is not for everyone, you have to feel it and want it. I have the need inside of me to help people and it is amazing! Shelters are few and far between and something has to be done. The department of Children and families reported as of March 2008 there was 1,441,726 on food stamps and another 436,315 waiting for applications. February 2008 there were 8,667 homeless minors, 34,391 adults and 2,727 senior citizens, all homeless and this is just what can be accounted for. It’s really scary and we have to take a stand before it’s so out of control nothing can be done.

Our mission: To seek those in need, feed, comfort, cherish as friends, educate, spiritually council, to change the world one person at a time. We are Teen’s Save Inc. Not only does this program teach young adults about truth, honesty, integrity and faith, it also teaches them leadership, loyalty and understanding of the world today. Founded in 2005 by Shelby Kelley, who was then only 12 Years old, I now, in 2008, have 11 active members of Teen’s Save and still adding kids range from 9 to 15 years old. In the first few meetings and when all new members become active I start by explaining that the world can be changed for the better it just takes doing it one person at a time.

Through the years we have remodeled homes for cancer patients and disabled people, helped to pay utility bills. Feed those who were hungry and placed 4 people from the homeless shelter into new lives. Found foreclosure help to those in crisis and helped with emergency medical needs. We send care packages to our military abroad and to those injured and recovering in Virginia. We collect blankets, jackets, socks, shoes and toys for local children. During Christmas time we hold fundraisers to not only feed families for Christmas but to bring smiles to children faces when Christmas morning comes around. It’s never much but it is always something and a lot of fun. Life is hard the kids told me one day. I understand why so many people are depressed and mad, they have that, right it is hard. Jobs are hard to find, businesses are closing, real estate is in the hole and let’s face it; there is no other word than HARD! These kids all come with a story, hardship, hunger, alone, they have all seen how the world really is. The amazing thing is they set their feelings aside just to help someone else. I don’t know many adults that would do that. So in 2008, Teen’s Save celebrated there 3 year anniversary and became incorporated, thanks to Mr. Bret Jones, an attorney in Clermont.

This is a need, right here, right now. The weather is changing and people cannot get warm, space heaters are burning down homes, people will freeze to death. People forget about us small towns. People pass through this town by the hundreds daily. This shelter is a desperate need. We are trying so hard to get a place. But again times are hard, I am only 15 and don’t work, so I can’t do this on my own. I will if I have to but I would like a little help. I know people look at our town as small; however there is an entire county here for whom we will open our doors. We will get them to the shelter one way or another.

Where there is a will, there is a way. Open your hearts, minds and souls and you too will see. This is a non-paying full time job. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I work 4-6 hours a day to help people either on the computer, on the phone or meeting people face to face. There is just so much that needs to be done, I too could use some help to get these people off the street and into life again. My 5 year plan is to build a large facility that will allow people to seek shelter, go through our screening, become educated, job trained and then moved to affordable housing.

We need these things. There will always be a need for shelters because things happen. Even when the economy wasn’t bad people still lost jobs every day. So I will be there to pick them up with or without a shelter, because that’s what I do. I pick people up dust them off and give them a boost. Won’t you join me?