Card­board ar­cade helps home­less youth

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - COUNTY BY COUNTY - By De­vika Rao

Ethan and Mad­dox, twin broth­ers in Ma­ri­etta, have headed back to school, but they spent their sum­mer cre­at­ing a card­board ar­cade that brought to life some clas­sic ar­cade games.

“They love to build things, and at the start of the sum­mer, they built a “This or That” box and then a Skee­ball game,” said their mom, Jen­nifer Slaugh­ter. “They started brain­storm­ing ideas for other games and quickly de­cided they wanted to build much more. Over the sum­mer, the boys worked to trans­form our base­ment into a card­board ar­cade.”

The idea came from a school STEM project based on a short film calle d, “Caine’s Ar­cade,” which tells the story of a nine-year-old boy who built a card­board ar­cade that be­came a global phe­nom­e­non.

The boys built 18 games in all and while they thought it would be a fun place for their friends to come and play all of the clas­sic games, the fam­ily de­cided to raise money for a non­profit group called Lost-n-Found that fo­cuses on youth home­less­ness in At­lanta.

The non­profit pro­vides food and shel­ter, helps youth get off the street, find a job and a way back on their feet.

Af­ter in­vi­ta­tions were hand de­liv­ered, the event took place re­cently at the ar­cade. The idea was to col­lect $10 do­na­tions to play in the ar­cade as a “drop in” event for 20 min­utes. Each child would win prizes at the end of their time and they were en­tered into a draw- ing for a chance to win one of two big­ger prizes.

More than 40 peo­ple (par- ents and kids) at­tended and then 12 more the fol­low­ing day. As word got out, the fam­ily re­ceived do­na­tions to­wards their cause. More than 70 peo­ple at­tended over a two-week pe­riod.

The boys raised $574, which will pro­vide food and shel­ter for seven youth for two weeks.

The com­mu­nity can sup­port Lost-n-Found in vari- ous ways. Peo­ple can do­nate home goods and cloth­ing to its thrift store, serve as men- tors, or­ga­nize din­ners and events for its hous­ing pro­gram or help sup­port the youth cen­ter.

While the ar­cade event is over, the re­sponse from the com­mu­nity is over­whelm- ing. Ethan and Mad­dox are al­ready mak­ing plans for their next event — a cloth- ing drive for the win­ter they plan to call Save Cold Kids.

In­for­ma­tion: https://lnfy. org/

Ethan and Mad­dox Slaugh­ter give Au­drey Krum­bach, of Lost-n-Found, the money raised dur­ing their card­board ar­cade fundraiser for the non­profit that sup­ports youth home­less­ness. The fundraiser raised $574, which will pro­vide food and shel­ter for seven youth for two weeks.

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