West LA high school students use art, poetry to help homeless children

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A group of Los Angeles area high school students are using their artistic talents to help homeless children.

They were inspired when they saw the staggering statistics of unsheltered children.

Inside the colorful book they created, full of whimsical artwork and thoughtful poems, is a meaningful message.

"We're the next generation," Marisol Torro said. "It's our responsibility to give back."

The 16 West L.A. high school seniors are the authors and illustrators behind "Verses for the Voiceless."

All of the proceeds of the book support local homeless children. In less than one year, they've raised $4,000.

"Just to see the talent of my fellow classmates and to see it compiled into one book, it's just really cool to see," cover artist Cassie Levy said.

A staggering 2.5 million children are homeless each year in the United States, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness.

It's that staggering statistic that inspired Storey Wertheimer to rally her talented friends behind the important cause.

"It's so difficult to create large scale change, and it's going to require major policy," Wertheimer said. "But to be able to actually connect with the children and meet them, and actually be able to spark relationships with them and try to help them has been an inspiring and amazing experience."

All of the students come from different backgrounds and experiences, but together their work is uplifting those in need and each other.

"I love to write poems in Portuguese, and I had never had the chance to write them in English," said Carolina Nobili. "So, when she came up with this opportunity and talked to me about it I just thought it was a great idea."

The book is available on Amazon.
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