When Chapel Hill High School sophomore Sydney Melet thinks of Mother’s Day, she isn’t only thinking of her own mother.
“When I think of Mother’s Day, I think of giving back to your mother and loving her, and showing how much you appreciate everything she does for you,” Melet said.
Melet volunteers with HomeStart, a residential facility providing housing and services to homeless women and children. Though HomeStart is located in Chapel Hill, it is a program within the Carrboro based Inter-Faith Council for Social Service.
Inspired by a similar Michigan homeless shelter project, Melet came up with the idea for the “Mother’s Day for HomeStart” program.
Individuals can make donations to HomeStart in honor of their mothers, who will receive a Mother’s Day card that is decorated with pictures drawn by children from the shelter.
The Mother’s Day cards can be purchased on the Inter-Faith Council’s website. Individuals can make a minimum donation of $10 to receive a card. All of the proceeds from the donations go toward a fund to help shelter residents obtain permanent housing.
“By donating, you’re helping a woman obtain a real home,” Melet said. “It’s probably a more meaningful gift because you know you’re making a difference in someone’s life.”
In 2014, HomeStart provided shelter to 202 women and 83 children. The organization also served almost 9,000 meals.
Chapel Hill’s A Better Image print shop donated the design and printing of the Mother's Day cards. Melet, who often led the shelter’s children in arts and craft activities, said the kids enjoyed creating the designs for the cards.