Thursday, October 18, 2012

Personal Experiences of Box City 2012

Personal Experiences of Box City 2012


>>Cardboard Box City 2012

By: Kim M.

At Box City last year it rained, but this year it was COLD - 35 degrees!  Seventy-five people, one as young as 5 years old, slept out in cardboard boxes to support homeless families.  Family Promise of Northern New Castle County held its annual Cardboard Box City fundraiser and participants from fourteen organizations raised almost $10,000 to support the organization.

The event included a soup kitchen, speakers, musicians, a worship service, and box decorating contest.  Two youth volunteers spoke about why they volunteer for Family Promise.   One of them volunteers at her church when the families stay there.  The other did his Eagle Scout Project, with 50 volunteers, at the Family Promise Center.  Our Executive Director read letters from three recent program graduates, explaining their gratitude for the organization and volunteers.  In one mom's words:

            "Family Promise has made a wonderful effect on my family and me as far as helping with school, work and a home. We greatly appreciated the welcoming hospitality and accommodations that the congregations provided for us, working so hard to make sure we were comfortable and secure."

   Another recent graduate, attending with her 8 year old son, spoke about her experience.  In explaining why she attended in person, she said, "Carolyn (the Family Promise Executive Director) helped me, so I'm helping her."

My nine year old daughter slept in her refrigerator box from 10:30pm-6am, not waking once.  She said her hands got a little cold, but they felt warm to me.  I however am in my 40's and have fibromyalgia.  I didn't sleep all night.  Every inch of my being was freezing, despite the sweatshirt, winter coat, hat, gloves and 5 blankets.  My experience lead me to think about homeless individuals who have medical issues and the cold may effect them more dramatically.  Also, Code Purple's are generally called at 20 degrees - I'm sure the difference between 35 degrees and 20 degrees is significant!  My compassion for those going through a rough patch that has left them homeless has only increased through this experience.