Project 150 is a local nonprofit organization created in 2014 which serves displaced, disadvantaged and homeless high school students in Northern Nevada. According to a 2018 U.S. Housing and Urban Development report to Congress, 36% of Washoe County high school students are disadvantaged (meaning they are eligible for free or reduced-price meals), 1404 were homeless, and of these homeless youth, 84% were unaccompanied by a parent or guardian, which is the highest rate in the U.S. Project 150 tries to alleviate some of their critical needs so that they have a better chance of staying in school and succeeding. Project 150 partners with over 30 high schools to provide these students with food, toiletries, clothing, shoes, and school supplies. They operate a boutique located in a small building near Reno High School with neat aisles of shoes, racks of clothing, and cubbies of undergarments, all sorted by type and size, a closet of toiletries, and even a dressing room. The clothing is mostly brand new or gently used and stylish enough for a teenager trying to fit in. The volunteers who stock the shelves are bargain hunters extraordinaire! Many local businesses contribute overstocks, and unusable returns. Their budget comes entirely from donations, and all staff are volunteers.
The best way St. John’s can help Project 150 is through monetary donations, and collections of supplies such as deodorant, full size toothpaste, bodywash, and laundry detergent. An especially important upcoming need is to supply kids with graduation “gifts”. Many of their kids can expect little or nothing at all to celebrate an important milestone. Project 150 is requesting $25 gift cards to easily accessible, teen-friendly businesses such as Starbucks, CVS, Walgreens, Old Navy, Kohls, Walmart, and fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s, Subway and Domino’s Pizza.
The Mission Committee has decided that part of our upcoming Pentecost offering will be donated to Project 150 and is investigating other ways that St. John's can contribute to Project 150.