Each year, hundreds of young adults in Coma enter the fall without the basic food, smart phones and gaming supplies they need.
Several churches in town have banded together to change that. Operation Awesome Basement aims to provide hundreds of care packages, including gaming supplies and new smart phones to at-risk 20 to 35-year olds living with their parents in Coma.
“Together, we are helping these able-bodied-but-currently-
O’Connell’s parish, St. Mary’s, is one of 10 Coma churches hoping to ease the angst and uncertainty that comes from living rent-free for a decade or more. The churches are collecting new or gently used gaming consoles and smart phones throughout August.
Why is Operation Awesome Basement needed?
Since these people have never held full-time employment, they’re still operating on a school-year calendar and that means autumn is a time of stress and change, organizers note.
“These gamers are going online against college students starting the school year with brand new video game systems–do you have any idea how that disadvantages my little boy?” said Bob Smith-Smith, whose 32-year-old son is a beneficiary of the charity drive.
Dave Anderson hailed the program for helping to keep his 25-year-old daughter from having to post mirror selfies from a 2015 phone.
“If she doesn’t upgrade her phone every couple months then her Instagram followers can get downright mean,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s daughter was unavailable to comment since she was still sleeping.
Stan Bargmeyer, a local elderly person, couldn’t afford a new phone donation so he donated a card for a one-month paid subscription to Xbox Live.
“I may be eating cat food this month but it’s worth it just to see their smiling self-pictures on the computer I use at the library,” Bargmeyer said.
Here are five simple ways you can help the neediest in Coma:
DONATE online. It’s fast and easy to do–so do it!
START SHOPPING and fill a backpack with ramen, GMO-free organic sustainable snack packs, gaming supplies, gaming consoles and phones.
Then drop it off at a local church.
COLLECT by organizing your own internal collection drive at your work, school, church, or club.
VOLUNTEER to help Operation Awesome Basement with marketing, data base tasks, sorting, item pick-ups, calls, etc.
ENGAGE your employer to provide in-kind items such as ironic t-shirts or Star Wars posters or provide specific supplies in bulk such as flash drives, selfie sticks or Vaseline.
Young adults who live in basements face many challenges and tremendous stigmatization – as a result, less than 25% end up finding the dream job that will pay them what they’re worth, organizers note.
Preparing these post-children for the fall with a new backpack filled with essential life supplies boosts their self-esteem and gives them the tools and confidence needed to thrive.