Many St. Ambrose students spend their weekends participating in typical college activities, but one group of students is about to trade in their typical Friday night to learn what it is like to be homeless.
Sleep Out is an annual event held to help raise awareness about homelessness in the Quad City area. When professors John and Judith Kaiser suggested to Psychology Club’s president Mackenzie Doering that she organize a team for the Oct. 4 event, it did not take much convincing.
“I’m just really excited to be a part of it,” Doering said. “It’s a way for us to do our part and help out the community.”
Thanks to Doering’s commitment to forming a team, the Psychology Club has recruited about 50 students to spend their Friday night sleeping on the field at Modern Woodman Park.
While their friends back home sleep in their nice, warm beds, these SAU students will have to brave whatever the weather brings them that night. Some may see it as a huge sacrifice, but Doering says it’s all worth it.
“I like being involved in the community, and it’s really showing us how others feel. It’s not about us, it’s about the homeless.”
Their participation in this event will not only show SAU students what it is like to be homeless, but also help those less fortunate than them. All the funds collected from this event will go to the Humility of Mary Shelter.
Since it costs $10 for the shelter to provide a bed, the general admission for the event is the same amount. By doing this, those involved are symbolically paying for someone’s bed while they take their place for the night.
A night that’s anticipated to go by pretty fast.
Not only will SAU students have one another to keep them company, but other schools and groups will be there as well.
Doering says event organizers also have some fun things planned to keep participants busy throughout the night. Activities such as volleyball and bags games will be available, and later on in the evening a movie will be shown on the scoreboard.
Participants will also get the chance to build their own shelter for a prize. The SAU group has decided to use the movie Up as inspiration for theirs.
If all goes well this year, the club plans to make participation in this event an annual thing.
Anyone still interested in participating can email Mackenzie Doering at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration for the event starts begins at 4 p.m. outside of Modern Woodmen Park.