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Kim McAllister shows new volunteers how to sort donations. (Photo/Jessica Baker).
Kim McAllister shows new volunteers how to sort donations. (Photo/Jessica Baker).

Project 150 Helping Homeless Teens in Clark County

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Project 150 accepted carloads of clothing, school supplies and food donations for homeless and disadvantaged high school students at UNLV’s Festival of Communities and GREENFest event on April 20.

Project 150 is a local charity that provides basic necessities to more than 1,000 Clark County students.

The organization was founded in December 2011 after Don Purdue, Patrick Spargur and Blake Bradley discovered that there was an overwhelming number of homeless students in the Las Vegas Valley – over 6,300.

The group’s name had been decided upon to honor the original 150 homeless students at Rancho High School that inspired the project’s formation.

Project 150 collects tax deductible donations of clothes, toiletries, non-perishable food items, school supplies and sports equipment year-round to deliver directly to students in need.

“There are a lot of kids who do not have what they need and it is discouraging,” says Spargur, Project 150’s co-founder and executive vice president.

To encourage students to work hard, earn their diplomas and have a better chance at becoming successful in life, the organization attends events such as GREENFest to raise money and awareness for at-risk youth.

On April 20, the Project 150 team and volunteers spent their day accepting and sorting through bags of donations that were being brought in by the carload to their booth in the black lot of the Tropicana parking lot at UNLV.

According to Kim McAllister, who was collecting donations and directing new volunteers, Project 150 was even helping out other organizations at GREENFest.

She stated that volunteers would be sorting through the bags and separating teenage clothes that would stay with Project 150 from kids and adult clothes that would be donated to HELP of Southern Nevada.

“These individuals are showing the initiative to come forward to aid those who are suffering,” said Spargur. “No one tells them to come forward.”

The organization has been approached by local teens such as Kayli Barker and Hannah Courser, who are interested in lending a helping hand to their peers.

Barker, 15, who has been named NASCAR’s next best female racer, has recently become Project 150’s teen spokesperson.

Courser, a Valley High School sophomore, assisted Project 150 by hosting a walk-a-thon on March 30 and raising more than $1,000 for teens in need – more than doubling her original goal of $500.

“These kids are at the same level as those who are suffering,” Spargur said. “They can teach them the importance of staying in school.”

Spargur believes that Project 150 will continue to grow their mission and hopes to be able to offer more support and services to the 15 local high schools that they currently assist.

He believes that if local businesses were to get involved within the community, support to neighborhood schools would be greater than ever.

“The community has to realize that there is a lot of need for their support,” Spargur said. “If businesses were to focus on their own pocket of the neighborhood, they could make a huge difference.”

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