A Chance Encounter To Help The Homeless


A box of cereal may seem like a simple item, but for those facing food insecurity and homelessness, it can be a beacon of hope. Meet Chance P., a compassionate 13-year-old, who has made it his mission to collect cereal and blankets for Opportunity House, to help the homeless in our community. Through Operation Breakfast and Blankets, Chance’s efforts have grown, inspiring others to join him in making a difference.

Making a Difference

Chance and Bella help the homeless in Berks CountyChance’s journey started when he and his family volunteered to cook a meal for the residents at Opportunity House. For this then 4th grader, he saw how the lives of children in the shelter were vastly different from his life. “I don’t like to see people on the street,” he said. Knowing that many homeless people struggle to find their next meal, Chance decided to act. That year, he wrote a letter to Santa asking Santa to help with food and clothing. 

Santa’s response led to the inception of Operation Breakfast and Blankets, a heartwarming campaign to collect cereal and blankets for the homeless.

Growing Impact

Through social media and community outreach, Chance’s mission gained momentum. A friendly competition with a teacher resulted in over 500 boxes of cereal collected. Even during the COVID pandemic in 2020, Chance expanded his efforts, working with the Bernville community to donate over 1,000 boxes of cereal and many blankets.

Overcoming Challenges

Despite challenges, such as rising food prices in 2022, Chance persisted enlisting the support of his friend Bella. They worked together to continue the mission collecting cereal and blankets for Opportunity House. 

A Beacon of Hope

The cereal Chance collects is a breakfast staple at Opportunity House. It is also a highly requested item for clients in our housing who are struggling to put food on the table. “I feel better knowing that people will always have something to eat and a place to stay at Opportunity House,” said Chance. 

Opportunity House is thankful for the ongoing support of Operation Breakfast and Blankets. “Chance and his team show us that everyone can make a difference in our community,” said Modesto Fiume, Opportunity House President. “We appreciate all that he has done for the homeless and those in our community who are struggling with food insecurity,” added Modesto. 

Join the Mission

Opportunity House welcomes sports teams, confirmation classes, Catechism classes, clubs, schools, and youth organizations to get involved in helping the homeless and combatting food insecurity. Chance’s inspiring story proves that age is no barrier to making a difference in our community.

Ways to get involved at Opportunity House

  • Financial Support – donate HERE
  • Volunteer – get information on serving dinner, joining a committee and other volunteer opportunities HERE
  • Attend one of our events – attending an Opportunity Event allows you to learn more about Opportunity House and show your support all while having a great time.
  • Donate unused items – donating to the OppShop not only keeps items from going to landfills, it also provides jobs for our clients, raises money to support the shelter and offers low cost essentials for those who need them.
  • Come take a tour. To really understand the impact your support can make, call the shelter at 610-374-4696 and schedule a tour.

Opportunity House is a non-profit organization in Reading, PA, that offers those experiencing homelessness a safe place to live while they rebuild their lives.  Our Success Stories share inspiring stories of our client’s journey from homelessness to finding stability, safety, and security after leaving the emergency shelter. 



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