Volunteers create customized books for homeless children – KSL.com

SALT LAKE CITY — A local organization is striving to provide the gift of story to those who can’t do it themselves.

A non-profit organization, My Story Matters is working to provide customized books for children staying at The Road Home shelter. For the young children, it’s an individualized storybook. For those aged 6 years and older, it’s more of a journal or autobiography.

Volunteers gathered at the shelter Friday to interview and photograph the kids for their books. They asked them basic questions about their favorite color and dessert and also urged them to dream about where the future could take them by asking things like what they want to be when they grow up and what they would do if they had $100.

“For most of these families, these are the only photographs they’ve ever had taken … so they love having the opportunity to see pictures of themselves,” said Amy Chandler, founder of My Story Matters. “And they own very few possessions, and so for them to be able to have something that is their very own that is so unique and personal to them is really treasured.”

For his Eagle Scout project, an Alpine resident is finding volunteers to put together and publish the books. He will also package the books, arrange the delivery and organize a supply drive for the shelter, Chandler said.

The kids seemed to love being in the limelight for a few minutes, according to Chandler.

My Story Matters service project from Lizzie Morris on Vimeo.

When one has the opportunity to tell their story, she said, it gives the chance to increase their self-esteem and it gives these kids a chance to look back and see happy moments and memories.

“There’s not very many moments in their life presently that somebody is asking them about them … so we want to give them that opportunity to say, ‘hey you’re important and you have a whole life ahead of you and we would love to highlight and give you some hope for the future,” Chandler said.

This is just one project My Story Matters is involved in. The organization also puts together books for deceased children and children going through life-altering illnesses.

To view one of My Story Matters’ customized books, visit Heritage Makers.


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Megan Marsden Christensen

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