Hundreds of thousands of children spend nights, days and weeks sleeping and living outside — in foster care.
In support of those children, members of the KMC raised money by spending a night sleeping outside. The 60 volunteers were only allowed to bring a sleeping bag or a cardboard box and the clothes on their back.
The Solidarity Sleep Out event was put together by members of Ramstein High School’s Keystone Club, a leadership program that offers its members volunteer opportunities.
“This year, they chose to do a project relating to the homeless teens in the states, so (the students) could raise awareness to the epidemic there where over 1 million homeless children are,” said Kaureen Whittaker, Ramstein youth programs assistant director. “The goal was just to raise awareness of what homeless youth are facing in the states, since military children aren’t exposed to those youth’s hardships.”
Senior Airman Brittany Davis, 786th Force Support Squadron and co-coordinator for the sleep out, offered her personal experience, since she spent part of her childhood homeless. In addition to raising awareness, the event also raised money to send back to the Covenant House in support of their programs.
“We partnered up with Airman Davis who shared her story and the traumatic events she went through as a child and how the Covenant House essentially saved her life,” Whittaker said. “The project was inspired by her, and because of the topic of our project we were able to help her come up with this event. Our goal was to raise $2,000, and before the event even began, we had surpassed that goal by more than $1,000.”
The money raised will be used to support the Covenant House’s many programs, ranging from providing food to education.
“The Covenant House is dedicated to homeless youth, from young children all the way up to people 22 years old,” Davis said. “The houses are spread throughout the states and offer its members food, shelter, water, clothing and basic essentials in addition to giving children an education and helping its members get jobs.”
Sharing her story wasn’t her only goal. Davis also wanted to get the volunteers to help others.
“The best outcome I hope to get from sharing my story and putting this event together would be for those who participate to pay it forward,” she said. “I want the participants to learn enough that when they leave here they can go back and use it to try and help someone who needs it.”
Donations are being accepted until the end of April. If you’re interested in donating, visit http://covhou.convio.net/site/TR?team_id=1700&pg=team&fr_id=1040&et=pchL5_MH2mFwIxaNBDaPkQ&s_tafId=1080.