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Wayland Moms Recruit Local VIPs for 2nd Annual Community-Wide Event for Homelessness

January 24, 2007 — Six Wayland mothers have teamed up to raise money toward the fight against homelessness this March with a dinner, raffle and silent/live auction featuring local "celebrities" and VIPs. The 2nd Annual Give US Your Poor Auction will be held on Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 6:30-9:00pm at the Sandy Burr Country Club. The proceeds from the event will benefit Give US Your Poor, a national public education and action initiative to end epidemic homelessness.

The event is open to all members of the community and beyond and will be emceed by Wayland native Ted Wayman, formerly of CBS and UPN and currently on boston.tv, and will feature Wayland's Chief of Police Robert Irving, Fire Chief Robert Loomer, Magic 106 DJ David O'Leary, Wayland High School Football Coach Scott Parseghian and Wayland Youth Sports Coach Adrian Gomes among others as auctioneers for the live auction.

Wayland mothers Jennifer Bonner, Lisa Clayton, Susan Cohen Cummings, Nancy Funkhouser, Kim O'Shaughnessy and Ashley Welch joined to organize the 2nd annual event with the hope of raising awareness for Give Us Your Poor, a UMass Boston-based organization founded by Executive Director and Wayland resident John McGah, with a special focus on education. Currently, the Wayland Public Schools are exploring ways to incorporate the Give US Your Poor homelessness curriculum, developed by the UMass Boston, in their middle schools.

"We all tell our children how fortunate they are and how some families don't have hot meals or homes to live in,” comments Jennifer Bonner, chairperson of the event committee. "Becoming involved with Give Us Your Poor is a way to really show my kids how a community can do something to help solve the problem rather than merely acknowledging it."

The evening's festivities will include dinner, raffles, a silent auction and local celebrities and VIPs auctioning off select items. The auction items range from salon services and consumer electronics to tickets to sporting events and weekend getaways.

"I was really inspired by these women and their enthusiasm to get out there and get involved. They all have multiple kids under the age of six and hectic schedules, but they were eager to get the word out about the cause and organize this event," comments McGah. "I think it says a lot about the community of Wayland and the ability to bring awareness and aid to a problem that might not affect it directly."

Homelessness is not foreign to Massachusetts, however. Wages in the state have failed to keep pace with rental costs and families are unable to pay for housing, food, child care, and health care; they are forced to decide which of these necessities they can afford. Today, there are more than 10,500 homeless families in Massachusetts; 20,000 of these family members are homeless children. For every ten household with extremely low incomes, there are only four affordable housing units that these families can actually afford. Across the United States, there are approximately 3.5 million homeless individuals; over 1 million of these individuals are children.

Tickets can be purchased online for $15 or at the door for $20.

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About Give US Your Poor

Give Us Your Poor is a national public education and action initiative based at UMass Boston aimed at ending homelessness by dispelling myths and demonstrating structural causes of homelessness with the general public through a comprehensive approach. The project has the support of a number of national homeless organizations, celebrity actors and musicians, politicians, researchers, and homeless people. Components to the initiative include strategic partnering, a documentary film for national television narrated by actor Danny Glover, music by Bruce Springsteen; classroom curricula; community outreach; a dynamic website; and a companion music CD featuring homeless artists and national recording stars such as Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Natalie Merchant, Pete Seeger, Sonya Kitchell, Sweet Honey in the Rock and many others. For more information about Give Us Your Poor, visit www.giveusyourpoor.org.

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For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Bonner
2nd Annual Give US Your Poor Auction
508-653-9121
rjbonner@comcast.net

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