Yesterday, Chevy had the entire Mom Squad come to Thies Farm in
Maryland Heights for a couple of hours. Their mission? To show off the
new 2010 Traverse and Equinox vehicles. Our mission? Play like crazy
for a couple of hours and load up $100 worth of goodies (all courtesy
of Thies Farm) to take to a charity of our choice.
This was a super mission to send us on: my kids loved every single minute at Pumpkin Land, and I really enjoyed spending $100 of someone else’s money on behalf of a cause I am really excited about.
After we left Pumpkin Land, we headed to Joe’s Place in Maplewood.
What is Joe’s Place? Good question. The simple answer – the one I gave to my six-year-old – is that it’s a home for high school boys who really have no place to live. A more detailed answer is on their website:
Joe’s Place is an innovative idea born from a dramatic need in our community. Each year close to a dozen MRH high school students find themselves virtually without a home due to serious family difficulties. These students sleep and eat wherever friends will let them settle for a while.
As the MRH School District struggles to find a safe haven for these youngsters, we find again and again that teens between the ages of 16 and 18 have few support nets in our social welfare system.
Joe’s Place offers a small group of teenage boys what every kid should be able to expect from life: a warm place to sleep, regular meals, and someone to provide guidance and affection.
In short, Joe’s Place provides a family for a few boys who desperately need one – and the effort is working. Need more proof? Watch this video:
When I emailed the couple who serve as house parents to these boys (as well as a very cute little one of their own) to ask them if this would be something they would be interested in (I wasn’t sure if high school boys would be into the pumpkin thing or not), Alyssa responded with, “The boys haven’t always had the best of holiday celebrations, so we try to do everything to the extreme… like making sure they decorate pumpkins. Your e-mail made me want to cry! Thank you so much!”
Thanks to Chevy and Thies Farm, I was able to pick up some pumpkins and other fun fall items for these boys’ very first experience with carving pumpkins and celebrating the fall season. Alyssa just sent me these amazing photos (you can see more of her photo work here) of the boys of Joe’s Place and their pumpkin creations:
Scraping out the pumpkin guts:
Designing the faces:
And the finished products:
Joe’s Place is donation supported. To learn more about getting involved in this amazing community endeavor, visit this page. Some practical needs the house always has are towels, wash clothes, twin size sheets, pillows, and laundry detergent. If you would like to get involved in helping out these boys, email them at info [at] joesplacestl [dot] org.