First Christian Church is thinking out of the box for ways to help the homeless by having members of its youth group sleep outside in a cardboard box.
The annual Out of the Box for Homelessness fundraiser, which begins today at the church, has raised nearly $20,000 over the last seven years. Launched in 2016 by the church’s Salt and Light youth group, it is a benefit for Greenville’s homeless shelter, Community Crossroads Center. The event aims to educate students about the problem of homelessness and to invite them to be part of the solution.
For the fundraiser, students work to find supporters willing to sponsor their night outside with donations of about $100 per participant. As students arrive for the night, they begin to put together the boxes that will serve as their home. Each box is decorated with at least one fact about homelessness in America.
Participants only are allowed to bring three items into their boxes, and electronics are not permitted. Their dinner consists of soup, sandwiches and protein bars, similar to a typical of a meal that might be served at a shelter.
More than a dozen youth are expected to participate in this year’s event. Last year’s event, which was virtual due to COVID-19, generated nearly $3,000.
Contributions may be mailed to First Christian Church, Out of the Box for Homelessness fundraiser, P.O. Box 2366, Greenville, NC 27836. For online donations, visit firstchristiangreenville.org, select “donate,” and then “Out of the Box.”