A Chance Encounter To Help The Homeless

A box of cereal is a welcome item for someone facing food insecurity. Cereal can be a meal or a snack any time of the day or night. It is shelf stable and it’s a favorite of men, women, and children. Many cereals are fortified to improve their nutritional value. 

Chance P. collects boxes of cereal and donates them to Opportunity House to help the homeless. Over the past 5 years, he’s donated thousands of boxes of cereal. “When I was younger people thought I was a cute kid and would donate cereal,” noted Chance. Now, as a 13-year-old, Chance has built a network of donors who he depends on to make his cereal campaign a success. 

Chance and Bella help the homeless in Berks County

It started when Chance and his family came to Opportunity House to cook a meal for our residents. 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. As the son of a Veteran, Chance was also moved to help those who had served our country. 

Santa responded to Chance and asked if Chance would lead the collection of cereal and blankets for Opportunity House. Today it’s known as Operation Breakfast and Blankets.  

Chance posted on social media and was interviewed by the Reading Eagle. His friends and neighbors were eager to donate items.  

The next year, Chance challenged a teacher at a local elementary school to a friendly competition. Together they collected over 500 boxes of cereal. 

In 2020, during the COVID pandemic, Chance worked with the mayor of Bernville to expand his collection and designated the Bernville Library as a drop off point. The community responded by donating over 1,000 boxes of cereal and many blankets.  

With skyrocketing food prices in 2022, Operations Breakfast and Blankets faced some challenges. More people needed help and the price of cereal had increased dramatically. Chance recruited his friend, Bella to help and together they collected cereal and blankets for Opportunity House. 

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. 

Opportunity House welcomes sports teams, confirmation classes, Catachism classes, clubs, schools, and youth organizations to get involved in helping the most vulnerable in our community. Chance is proof that you can make a difference in the community even at 13 years old. 


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