Children raise funds for Arundel shelter

August 16, 1993|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Staff Writer

John Simms III went to the playground this summer and learned a lesson about how to help those less fortunate.

The 11-year-old used $1 from his allowance and bought a raffle ticket to raise money for The Lighthouse, a homeless shelter on West Street in Annapolis.

John was one of more than 500 children from throughout the city who raised $743 by raffling off a stereo, a cassette player and a radio, all donated by Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

Of that amount, $400 went to The Lighthouse. The rest went into a trip fund for the city's playgrounds, to take the children to the National Zoo and the Smithsonian next year.

Although John didn't win anything in the raffle, he learned something about helping the less fortunate.

"I think it's good. It's helping them stay somewhere, where they can have food and shelter," said John. And he recalled the theme song for the summer's activities: "Heal the World."

Gilda M. Fowlkes, supervisor of city playgrounds, said the playground theme this year was "Changing ourselves to make the world a better place." The six-week program ended Aug. 6.

The Lighthouse can sleep 23 people and includes two apartments for families. The shelter also provides meals, counseling, a literacy program and caseworkers for relocation. Average stays are about one week to 10 days.

Ms. Fowlkes said some of the children who took part in the raffle have stayed at the shelter.

In past years, she said, the children from the city's eight playgrounds have collected aluminum cans for the Red Cross.

"I find that children have to take a look around," she said, so they can see "that things are not all that pleasant for people," she said.

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