On March 15, Brock students participating in the 5 days for the Homeless campaign spent their final night outside. Some of the students out on the final night were just staying for the night, while others had completed the entire 5-day campaign. The students who were out on Thursday night shared the experiences they had during the campaign.
Vanisha Hira, a student in Bachelor of Business Administration Coop, was unable to sleep out any night other than Thursday but she helped with the fundraising including the Krispy Kreme sales. One thing she enjoyed about the experience was the meaningful conversations she had with people who had been affected by homelessness. For the one night she spent out, Hira found the hardest part was the cold.
Breanne Vandenbreemen, a second-year student in Concurrent education first found out about the campaign in her first-year when she read about it. This inspired her to be a part of the campaign this year.
“I thought it was really cool that people were doing this to raise awareness and helping Community Care, so I figured why not.”
Breanne is one of four individuals who slept out all five nights.
“It has been a struggle for sure. Five nights is long, and some nights were cold, like really cold.”
Besides struggling to stay warm, Vandenbreemen commented about how her eating schedule has been thrown off. Students who participated in the campaign only ate what was donated to them. This caused Vandenbreeman and the other students participating to have a diet consisting mainly of Tim Horton’s donuts and pizza for the five days.
As part of the campaign, students who participated did not take a shower for five days.
“It is kind of disgusting. You will sit in lecture and smell something and be like oh that is me,” said Vandenbreeman.
Emma Munday, who is also Concurrent education decided to join the campaign because, “I saw it [during] first year and I thought it looked really fun. I thought it was a really good cause. A couple years later I finally got around to it.”
“It has really put into perspective the way we treat people who have been in this situation. The biggest thing for me is when people walk by and you say hello and you do not get any acknowledgement back. It is really hard,” said Munday.
Munday has also found going to class and doing work to be very difficult. She believes her experience not being able to focus in class will be valuable to her later on in life when she is a teacher as she will better understand what her students are going through when they cannot focus.
Students who participated in the campaign didn’t just spend the nights outside, but any time during the day that they were not in class or completing homework was spent outside as well.
The last time the donations were tallied they were sitting at a little over $3,000. However, the campaign continues to accept donations until the end of March.
Donations can be made online at 5days.ca/brock or at their next food and donation drive next weekend at Zehrs.