The Tomatsu family wanted to help.
Siblings Shun, Shiori and Saori Tomatsu have worked together since August on a collection drive at Clayton High School for Places for People. The response from their classmates filled the family vehicle twice -- in October and December -- with bags of food and clothing. Both deliveries were met with gratitude and smiles at the Places for People Welcome Center.
“It really did make us happy to see that what we did made a difference at Places for People,” said Shiori Tomatsu, a junior at Clayton High School.
Shun, a senior, estimated that the family has devoted 30 hours on the project so far. They made posters and flyers to advertise the drive, and distributed collection boxes around the school.
After deciding to organize a collection drive, the siblings researched several local organizations online before finding Places for People. “We really liked the mission statement,” Shiori said of the choice to donate to PfP.
PfP’s mission statement is to provide innovative and effective mental health services to people in need while creating a system of care that promotes personal recovery.
The students learned more about PfP after delivering their first donation. They talked to Megan Heeney about the role of the Outreach Team at PfP. The Outreach Team seeks to reach people who are homeless and living with untreated mental illnesses. The team works to develop a positive rapport with the goal of gradually engaging the individual in appropriate services. Necessities like food and clothing can help build that relationship and start a person on the road to recovery.
After talking to Heeney, the Tomatsu siblings received a tour of PfP’s Recovery Center Campus by Community Coordinator Julia Day.
“We enjoyed being able to learn about new aspects of the organization,” Shiori said of the experience at PfP.
The family returned again with another delivery on December 20. The delivery included a special gift - their mother's homemade brownies.
To find out more about organizing a donation drive for PfP, visit our Wish List page.
ABOUT PLACES FOR PEOPLE - Founded in 1972, Places for People is a private, non-profit agency that provides innovative and effective mental health services to nearly 4,000 people annually. Places for People has expertise in serving people with multiple disorders (mental health, physical, substance abuse, trauma) and conducts extensive outreach efforts to serve people who would not seek services due to the severity of their illnesses.