By Shana Adkisson
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Community Action Ministries (CAM) will once again team up with Norman Network of Youth Ministries to present its ninth annual 1 Night in a Box fundraiser.
The fundraiser requires youth to spend one night living in a cardboard box to simulate what life would be like if they were homeless. The fundraiser will begin at 7:30 p.m. March 1 and will conclude at 7 a.m. March 2. This year, 1 Night in a Box will be held at the new Antioch Church location, 1330 E. Lindsey St.
“We will be allowed to use their foyer if there is precipitation or below 32 degrees,” CAM Executive Director Donna Hooper said. “However, we will not turn on any heat at the facility, should we have to go in. Participants should wear layers of clothing to keep warm.”
For 1 Night in a Box, students who are in the sixth grade or older are asked to bring one large cardboard box to sleep in or an individual tent; one roll of duct tape to put their box together; plastic to wrap their box or to make a front cover; a canned vegetable soup for that evening’s dinner; and one sleeping bag or blanket. Participants are encouraged to wear layers of clothes and plastic bags will be allowed. Pillows and electronics are not allowed.
“Participants are asked to refrain from eating anything that day. They will appreciate the soup line much more, plus they get a more accurate feeling of what it might be like to be homeless and receiving only one meal per day,” Hooper said.
The evening requires a minimum of $30 to participate.
“This year the money will be split among nonprofit agencies that help the homeless; Bridges, who helps teens who are living on their own, Mission Norman and CAM, who is teaming up with Skyline Urban Ministries to feed the homeless once a month,” Hooper said.
Anyone that brings more than $150 will have their name put in a drawing for a chance to win a gift certificate. There will be a larger gift certificate for the person who raises the most amount of money.
“Through the guest speakers, they will learn of the major problem we have with homelessness here in our own community. They will hear true stories of people that have been or are homeless and find out reasons why they have come to that stage of their life,” Hooper said. “I hope that participants will walk away with a little more compassion, verses having a judgmental heart. Everyone has a story to tell and we need to be willing to listen. Good hearted people also need to learn how to help a situation and not just enable the homeless to stay in the situation they are in.”
Students that participate in 1 Night in a Box are required to have a permission form signed from a parent. That form can be downloaded at www.cam-inc.net and returned the night of the event.
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