37 teams, 252 participants, 1 cause, and over $500,000 raised for the kids of Covenant House!
The Sleep Out, a fundraiser where participants sleep outside for one night in an act of solidarity with homeless and trafficked youth, was truly an eye opening and life changing experience. Windsor's Sleep Out team leader, Kiah Jones, reflects on her experience.
The first thing I did after checking in to the 2018 NY Covenant House Sleep Out was accept a FaceTime call from my 3-year-old daughter, Ella. She was crying and missing my presence during our bedtime routine. She asked me why I wasn’t home and I reminded her that I was spending the night out to help young people who didn’t have Mama’s and Dad’s like her Mama and Dad. Puzzled, she tilted her head and looked behind me at all the people. Then she asked if I was at a party.
On the way home the next morning I thought back to that conversation and decided to tell Ella that it was indeed a party. It was a celebration of all the lives saved and changed by the efforts of Covenant House and all those volunteers and donors who raised 480k+! What better thing is there to celebrate than providing hope to young people? CH intervenes when young lives are at a crossroads and alleviates the desperation of homelessness, sex and labor trafficking and poverty. In addition, CH provides healthcare, (including mental health), opportunities for advanced education, transitional programs, new mother programs and most importantly, family. So, when I arrived at home, I told my dear Ella that Mama was at the best party ever.
Thank you to everyone who donated and made it possible for me to participate in this life changing event. Special thanks to my teammates on Team Windsor, a particularly special group of people.
Take Aways: 1. Life is not linear for everyone and when things get off track, everyone doesn’t have family to help them get back on course. 2. These young people are born into situations out of their control. They need help, not judgement. 3. Acknowledge homeless people when you see them. If you don’t want to give cash, buy them a sandwich or a soda. Imagine being ignored by 100’s of people a day. 4. It’s no fun sleeping outside in the cold even for one night. What a privilege to choose to do it in the service of others.
You don’t have to participate in a Sleep Out to support Covenant House. There are several ways to contribute. They always need toiletries and those 10 things you touch every morning when you prepare for your day. Right now, duffel bags are in demand.