Woman starts college fund for homeless Columbia teen

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT/WIS) – A woman from North Carolina is doing all she can to help a teen in need by starting a college fund for a homeless teen from Columbia.

Kendal Benjamin is a 17-year-old student at C.A. Johnson High School. He says homelessness is his reality, but not his label.

The graduating senior plays football, track and wants to study athletic training in college. He comes to school every day, and many around him don't know what it's like when he goes home at night.

Benjamin lives at Palmetto Place Children's Shelter.

He became homeless after his mother lost her job.

Emily Wetzel saw Kendal's story on our sister station's website in Wilmington, and said she was inspired and wanted to help.

"There's so many people that need help and we feel bad and we walk by them, and we don't do anything about it," Wetzel told WECT. "You never know what could happen and you would want someone to do the same for you."

Wetzel started a college fund for Kendal last week. She says she raised almost $500 in the first two hours and is looking to raise a total of $5000 for him.

You can make a donation to the fund at http://www.gofundme.com/7d94go.

By the way, Benjamin's story isn't unique. A Midlands school district last year identified a little more than 80 unaccompanied students.

For more information about the Palmetto Place shelter, visit palmettoplaceshelter.org.

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