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Tuesday 22 October 2013

Virginia teens read for shelter
Virginia teens read for shelter
Seven friends host a second annual read-a-thon to raise funds and awareness for ShelterBox.

Spotsylvania County students, Jack, Anna and Christopher, and four of their friends, Victoria, Xander, John and Michael, hosted the second annual read-a-thon this summer, ultimately raising $2,500 in the plight of disaster survivors worldwide.

It all started last summer, when now 14-year-old Anna asked her mother, Terrie, a volunteer fundraiser for ShelterBox, how she could help support the mission in her own way. An idea was born almost instantly, and Anna shared with her brothers and a neighborhood friend how she planned to help—read for shelter.

Fast forward to the kids’ 2013 summer break, and they’ve recruited even more peers to join them in their efforts and participate in the 2013 Read for Shelter, a summer-long fundraising initiative to help put shelter over families’ heads after they’ve lost their homes and belongings in a disaster.

The kids and teens recruited sponsors and supporters in their communities, each raising money for ShelterBox with every minute they read. Collectively, the group read for 11,267 minutes. That’s almost 190 hours.

“It’s all about working together as a community to make an impact. The ideas and projects turn out to make a world of difference,” Anna said.

The Gleason’s fundraising efforts were recognized by President Obama himself earlier this year, when the three siblings and their mom earned Presidential Volunteer Service Awards at the 2013 ShelterBox Humanitarian Awards.

Anna is no stranger to the world of philanthropy, though. More than three years ago, she and her friends started the Young Friends of Animals Club, through which the group raises funds, supplies and awareness for local animal shelters.

To start your own fundraising project or explore other ways to help ShelterBox provide life-saving aid and supplies to families in need, visit www.shelterbox.com/beinvolved.
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