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Youngster's effort aimed at helping homeless

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

Eight-year-old Tim House is motivated to help those less fortunate than he is.

A third-grader at Red Oak Elementary School, House says he was influenced by President Barack Obama's inauguration speech, wherein citizens were asked to serve their country and their community.

House decided on a cause he could support and pledged to help "Quench the Thirst of Atlanta's Homeless" by collecting water bottles.

With the help of his parents, Darlene Kelley and Casey Arceneaux, he set a goal of collecting at least 500 unused water bottles from the community, along with personal hygiene products and bottled water.

"It's a child-like faith," Arceneaux said. "In a child's mind anything is possible. We said we'd take some grownups to help and make it happen."

House has, so far, collected about 300 water bottles, many of them filled with items like socks, soap, wash cloths, toothpaste and deodorant.

"I feel glad," House said. "If we don't give, they won't feel refreshed by it."

His 7-year-old brother, Jamison, has been inspired to start a blanket drive for the homeless.

House has collected most of the items from parents, students and faculty at his school.

Several local businesses have gotten on board as well, lending their support to the drive, which ends Feb. 27.

"We just saw Timothy inspired, and we wanted to do whatever we could to support him," Kelley said. "I'm proud of, and I'm inspired by Timothy's faith. I wish more adults would have his faith and do it."

The items House collects will be donated to Crossroads Community Ministries in Atlanta, a center which provides cooked meals, identification, MARTA tokens and temporary mail service for metro Atlanta's homeless.

Central Presbyterian Church, located at 201 Washington St., in Atlanta, is one of two designated collection sites for House's water bottle drive. Jerk Chateau, located at 1005 Brentwood Pkwy., Suite 114, in Stockbridge, is the other collection site.

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On the net:

Tim's Pledge: www.myspace.com/timspledge