RENO, NV - Every Wednesday, a handful of people gather at the corner of 4th and Valley to feed the homeless. Those in need have caught wind of the group's efforts and show up in droves. Despite only having eight people in the group, "A Chance to Serve" is able to feed close to 200 people a week. For many of them, like co-founder Darren Castellano, the mission is personal.
"We found out one our mutual friends that was homeless passed away. He froze to death in the park here in Reno this winter. That was the last straw. We couldn't turn our backs anymore," he says.
The group got started when Tia Guenther took to social media to seek help serving those with less, and the response she got exceeded her expectations.
"I got on Facebook and started asking my friends if anybody had donations, and from that a couple other people came forward and said we'd like to start something too," she says.
"A Chance to Serve" relies on donations from the community and small businesses. Guenther says she hopes to gain more members and eventually become a non-profit to be able to seek larger donations and expand their reach.
"We all just want to get together and really show these people that there are still people out there that care about them and that are willing to help them if they're willing to receive the help," she says.
"A Chance to Serve" is hosting a fundraiser at the El Cortez Lounge on August 27th from 5-11pm. They will be having a raffle and collecting canned goods. For more information on the event or if you'd like to help volunteer for the group, go to the Hot Topics section on this website.