The launch of a unique fundraising experience to benefit the Loaves and Fishes Benevolent Society was held in Red Deer yesterday.
‘Homeless for a Night’ will run June 22 from the Loaves and Fishes facility, which is located at 6002 – 54 Ave. Those signing up will spend an afternoon and one night experiencing what it’s like to be new and homeless in the City. Participants are asked to raise support via pledges.
This year, organizers are hoping to see 50 participants. Last year 12 people participated in the first annual event.
To be eligible to participate, those interested must raise at least $250. However, the first three people to raise $1,000 will get a bed to sleep in on the night of the event. The rest of the participants will sleep on the floor.
“Folks are given a backpack and a toonie, because many homeless have some kind of small change, as well as a bottle of water. We ask that the participants leave their ID and money at home. They are also encouraged to buddy up with someone for the day as well,” said Halina Jarvis, executive director of the Loaves and Fishes Benevolent Society.
“At the beginning of the day we’ll leave Loaves and Fishes and go downtown. It’s up to the participants to find food, shelter and washrooms for the day.”
At 5 p.m. there will be a barbeque at Loaves and Fishes and at 7 p.m. the doors will open to the shelter where folks will spend the night. Participants are free until 9 p.m. but will have to return to the shelter by that time. Lights go out at 11 p.m.
“In the morning we will have a breakfast and people can share their experiences with us.”
The Homeless for a Night fundraiser will raise money for operations at Loaves and Fishes. Officials are hoping that between $20,000 – $25,000 will be raised.
“The purpose of the event is to also bring awareness of homelessness, what we do as an agency and to allow people to understand the plight of homeless people and what they go through.”
For more information about the event contact Tammy or Halina at 403-347-1844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.