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One little Brooklyn boy is showing you’re never too young to lend a helping hand.
Four-year-old Chase Hayden and his mother, actress Adele D’Man, formerly of Gravesend, paired up with non-profit organization Project Night Night to collect teddy bears, blankets and other essentials for homeless children recently in Forest Hills.
When asked what made her and her son become involved with Project Night Night, D’Man said it was a part of her “son’s quest to save the world.”
Project Night Night was established in 2005 by Kendra Stitt Robins, a mother of one who started the organization out of concern for homeless children who were without items such as security blankets, teddy bears and books.
Their goal is to supply homeless children in shelters with items that they need to develop emotionally and feel secure. Project Night Night delivers their sleep sacks, filled with a stuffed animal, blanket and age-appropriate book, to children from infancy to preteen.
Hayden’s event aimed to assist Project Night Night in its ambitious mission to deliver “sleep sacks” to every homeless child in the country.
According to The Partnership for the Homeless, there are almost 8,000 families, and almost 15,000 children, in New York City homeless shelters.
D’Man said that when her and her son heard about the organization, they decided it was the perfect opportunity for their family to get involved. Hayden said, “We’re gonna do this. We’re gonna help these kids.”
Adele’s husband of over 12 years, Peter Goldberg, is an active supporter and participant of the upcoming event. He is also very optimistic about the success of the collection.
“This is a great cause. And people will come through for Adele,” said Goldberg. “They always do.”
Those who attended the event in Forest Hills were given a canvas tote to fill with the items they brought, and were given homemade cookies, cupcakes and milk. Concluding the event was an entertainment portion, where Hayden got up to perform “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” on the piano.
Adele’s goal of filling 30 sleep sacks for homeless children was surpassed when her and her son helped fill over 50 bags. They were also able to collect over 100 books go into other sleep sacks for Project Night Night.
Hayden also felt that the fundraiser was successful, and hopes his actions will inspire other people to help. “Maybe other children will read about me,” he says, “and then they will want to help too.”
D’Man and her son feel very strongly about providing these children with bedtime necessities. “People are more important than money or things,” said Hayden. “People want to help but they don’t know what to do. I can do that… I’m good at it.”
Adele said that when her son learned that some children are homeless, he told her “Mommy, we have to save them.”
She also said that this is not the first time her son has tried to help. “When he was 2 1/2, he placed papers under everyone’s door in our building asking them not to litter. He said ‘Maybe people just don’t know. I can tell them how to help.’”
For more information on Project Night Night, go to www.projectnightnight.org.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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