Sleep In For Homelessness
Loudoun County is well-known as one of the richest, if not the richest, county in the country. However, that statistic is an average. Where there is rich, there must be poor; Loudoun is no exception. Homelessness is still a problem in this county. Key Club decided to make a difference by hosting a Sleep-in for the Homeless.
The sleep-in was senior Hameeda Naimi’s brainchild. A Key Club officer and member of the Good Shepherd Alliance (GSA), an organization which fights homelessness, Naimi brought the sleep-in idea to Key Club. The officers were enthusiastic from the beginning; Key Club sponsor and English teacher Heather Olis was a huge help throughout the entire process as well. After advertising with flyers and even a drum parade through the halls one morning, nearly 100 people registered for the event. With the tagline “Sleep in Their Shoes,” the sleep-in was
On April 14, students who had previously turned in registration forms trickled into the building between 7 and 8 p.m. Principal Susan Ross, Good Shepherd Alliance (GSA) representative David Cook, and senior Hameeda Naimi kicked off the event by speaking to the entire group in the auditorium about why they were there and the difference they were making.
Even though the pre-planned schedule was more or less scrapped as everything ran late, the night was filled with fun. Student bands, The Immortals and Epsilon, performed; activities such as four-square, Mission Impossible, The Amazing Race, musical chairs, and much more ran throughout the night with prizes donated from local businesses. The showing of The Pursuit of Happyness and The Blindside accentuated the night’s theme of homelessness awareness. Some students retired to the gym in a sleeping bag or blankets, while others stayed up to watch movies or play board games, getting little to no sleep the entire night. Students woke up in the morning to a generous breakfast donated by local businesses before leaving by the bright-and-early 8 a.m. official conclusion of the event.
As Cook shared during his opening address, 658 young students were recently classified as homeless or precariously housed in Loudoun County. Raising nearly 2,000 dollars in a culmination of registration, donations and a Tropical Smoothie fundraising night, all of which will benefit the GSA, the Key Club hopes to make a dent in this number.
Thanks to all participants, chaperones, donors, and anyone who helped to pull off this successful event; Key Club hopes to make it an annual tradition!