Ask Me Why I'm Homeless

by Shayna Fowler

Personal campaign Keep it all Columbus, OH, US

"I want you to do something that is going to impact society for the  better. What social injustice hurts you? What can you do about it? Your assignment, in essence, is to go and change the world,". Brandon and I looked at the list of ... See the whole story

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$2,700

270% raised of $1k goal

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"I want you to do something that is going to impact society for the  better. What social injustice hurts you? What can you do about it? Your assignment, in essence, is to go and change the world." Brandon and I looked at the list of issues our English teacher had just handed us. Among a variety of topics (Animal abuse, world hunger, eating disorders), one hardship in particular stuck out to us: Homelessness. "There are over 12,000 people in Ohio that are currently homeless. We should focus on that," Brandon said. I agreed. The struggle had become tangible to us in the past few weeks. We had been volunteering with an amazing ministry, Risen Son, who travels to "Tent Cities" in downtown Columbus to love on the men, women, and children of the area who have no where to go but the woods. We were blown away that people just twenty minutes away from our houses were sleeping in cardboard covered in blue tarps and tents filled with holes in -30 degree weather. We knew that we had to do something about it, but what? After lots of brainstorming, we decided that our goal was to 

1. Raise awareness of the homeless population in our area and shed light on this social (and preventable) injustice

2. Raise money for Risen Son so that they can continue to serve these precious people

3. Step outside of our comfort zones and be forced to understand just how blessed we are

 

So, this is our project. 

For seven days Brandon, myself, and our friends Regan, Emilie, Courtney, Jake, and Trevor are going to be "homeless". Obviously we are taking the necessary safety and health precautions, but otherwise, we are going to live in tents with one sleeping bag per person, a few bottles of water and pop tab cans of food, and endure whatever weather comes our way. As far as where we are living, we're considering one of our back yards or, potentially, our school court yard (both are incredibly safe). However, that is still to be determined. We are going to participate in daily activities such as school, sports, and work, while wearing the same shirt all week that says "Ask Me Why I'm Homeless". This will create conversation, raise awareness, and probably smell terrible. That's right, no showers. We can only use the toilet. We are going to video blog and journal our experiences and we will share those with you via Facebook and/or Youtube. This will also be a big part of our final presentation, as well as shed light on the horrors of "homelessness". We know that at the end of the day we will never be able to completely recreate what these people go through. But, we are trying to be as authentic as possible. So let's get to the logistics:

We need your help. For each day that we are homeless, we are asking others to sponsor us. You can do so in two ways:

1. Comment below to pledge a certain dollar amount per day & specify which student you are sponsoring (i.e.: I pledge $10 a day for Trevor every day that he is homeless). 

2. Donate one lump sum ahead of time via PayPal.

 

Anything helps, and again, 100% of the proceeds are going back to the homeless population of Columbus. We are incredibly excited about this opportunity and would love to partner with you to make a difference for real people going through real struggles just twenty minutes away from our homes. Comment below if you are agreeing to pledge, or if you have any questions or comments you would like to share. 

Thank you for your time, interest, and investment. We are the solution to social injustice, and it is time that we recognize that.

"You may choose to look the other way, but never again can you say that you did not know," William Wilberforce.

 

Sincerely,

Shayna Fowler, Brandon Doerfler, Regan Hanood, Emilie Alexandre, Courtney Shaver, Jake Pineda and Trevor Huffman. Students in Pickerington, OH.

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