Every community needs a ray of sunshine.
Sunshine Robinson is a little 8-year-old girl with a big heart. During a recent visit to New York City, the sight of the homeless people on the streets stirred a deep compassion within her. She was surprised that there were so many of them, and it made her "sad because they were living in boxes."
What was even more startling for her was that when she got back home to Binghamton, New York, she noticed that there were homeless people on the streets there too. This realization spurred her into action. She wanted to do something to help. That's how Fill The Pup Tent was born.
Fill The Pup Tent is a collection drive aimed at gathering donated items for the homeless. Sunshine approached the Conklin Presbyterian Church with the idea for the initiative, and they were more than happy to agree to accept donations.
The collection drive has been very successful so far, with hundreds of items being donated to the Coalition for the Homeless of the Southern Tier, including essentials like soap, toothbrushes, and blankets. Sunshine has also started collecting money for the homeless via a penny drive.
The response was far greater than anyone imagined, and a lot of it was thanks to Sunshine. Those who know her say that she is true to her name—a ray of sunshine—and that her personality and compassion has inspired her community to help the homeless.
As Greg Jenkins, elder for the church, said, "It's so inspirational…When Sunshine brought this idea forward that she wanted to do a collection like this for the homeless, and she had been touched by seeing homeless individuals, it was really almost a leadership role that she took that inspired the rest of us to get involved and get behind this project to fill the pup tent."
Sunshine's selfless actions are exactly what we aim to inspire with our second annual Summer Serve program. Featuring a handbook of kid-friendly service projects, our initiative invites families to make a difference in their communities during the summer months, from DIY lemonade stands to snack bags. Projects not only encourage children to understand the needs of the community, they also motivate kids to meet those needs.
Our mission is to end the cycle of homelessness, and we are only as successful as our community's compassion and action. Like with Sunshine's extraordinary story, it only takes one act of kindness to inspire hundreds. So far this season we've been blessed with little inspirations like Vanis and his recycling business, Girl Scout Troop 3595's cookie sales donations, and snack bags donated by kids in our community. Read more on little ones having big impacts here.
Download your free handbook here and get started. Don’t forget to snap photos of the fun and share using the hashtag #SummerServe.