One of the Drake House’s most effective volunteers is under the table.
He hasn’t been drinking; he’s literally under the table. Five-year-old Andrew Boyd decided the table was the perfect spot to regain his bearings after awakening from an afternoon nap.
Fully revived, Boyd eventually rights himself and heads to check out the Drake House pantry. But he's not looking for a mid-day snack, it’s already dawning on him that the donated goods there are the lifeline of Drake House residents.
The Drake House is a Roswell organization that supplies temporary apartment housing for moms with minor children. The organization offers women 128 days of free housing, giving mothers in need a way to keep their family intact and stabilize their financial circumstances so they can move into an apartment or other housing on their own.
Boyd, who lives with his adoptive parents at their Roswell family home, is learning the value of organizations like the Drake House even now, at his tender age. His parents encourage him to make giving part of his life.
And he has, in a bigger way than is expected of most young children.
In August, by using his own piggy bank to save, Boyd snagged 18 backpacks for the young residents of Drake House. Backpacks are extremely helpful to the Drake House because they are necessary for school and not covered by food stamps.
“He collects money all year long,” said Sheila Boyd, Andrew's mother.
Boyd is no J. Pierpont Morgan, but he has a system of saving coins he finds in parking lots or under cushions. He also receives a small allowance for chores, which often goes toward the Drake House. Even though only five, he’s begun to encourage friends and relatives to get on the giving train too. Sometimes they even slip him some money.
His selfless mission has even motivated the kids at his preschool, who are also starting to help with the donations.
But if you're already thinking it's all an amazing story of giving, there’s more. His parents say he wanted to collect donations instead of toys for his November birthday party.
“When we recognized that the birthday presents were coming along with the ones for the holidays, it is easy to get overwhelmed,” Sheila said. “We wanted to have a big party. We wanted to have a lot of people over at the house, but we didn’t want all of these gifts.”
Before they had children, Andrew’s parents became familiar with Drake House as volunteers through .
“We had already done things like moving furniture in and out of apartments, helping get furniture into storage,” Sheila said, "Now we have a personal interest in this because these are the types of services that families can really benefit from, when one medical incident can shoot you out of the house that you are in.”
Sheila is a big advocate of the Drake House.
“Shelters [unlike the Drake House] divide up the family based on age of child,” she said. “The older boys are placed in a different part of the housing. By having a facility here that is residential, apartment living, where the family can stay intact as a family unit, the kids can get picked up, go to school on the bus, have a normal life. There is a playground. When you are able to have friends over to do homework and to have sleepovers, there is normalcy in that.”
The Boyds began Andrew on a tract to give back when he was 3-years-old.
“We are in the early stages of indoctrinating him in charitable giving and giving back,” Sheila said. “And to be a responsible member of society, but I think he is doing pretty good.”