29th ANNUAL SLEEP OUT FOR THE HOMELESS
If there was to be a motto for this fall within youth ministry it might be “let’s not cancel it, let’s reimagine it.” The Covid realities of the world have made doing our ministry events in a typically fashion a bit of a challenge and the annual Sleep Out for the Homeless is no exception.
WHAT is the SLEEP OUT ??
The Sleep Out is a long standing tradition of youth groups in the Mechanicsburg Community to raise money for local agencies that work tirelessly to support those struggling with homeless realities. The annual event is purposely paired close to Thanksgiving as a way of reminding students that in a time where we eat in abundance and are thankful for much, that others have less and struggle to have their basic needs met. Students are taught about the realities surrounding homeless situations and are asked to give up their comforts and possessions and spend a night outside sleeping in the shelter of a cardboard box. Our cardboard village draws the attention of passing traffic and allows us the opportunity to collect money from those willing to stop and donate their spare change. All money collected is then given to the agencies at work in our community (New Hope, Family Promise, and Bethesda Mobile Mission).
As we reimagined the Sleep Out for 2020 our three main goals were to:
- One, raise money for the agencies that serve those in homeless situations.
- Two, equip students with an awareness of the realities of homelessness.
- Three, create a fun and engaging space for our students to gathering in a safe way.
In order to accomplish our first goal and support these important agencies who help the families of our community, we have taken our fundraising online.
Our students are normally tasked with the challenge of sleeping outside in makeshift cardboard homes and collecting money from passing traffic along Simpson Street. However, this year if you are driving along Simpson Street the weekend before Thanksgiving, you won't see the students out. Instead, the students have been challenged to extend homeless awareness online and use their social media platforms to share the donation link for our online fundraising in the hope of maintaining our support for the homeless agencies in our community.
Thank you for your donation and for helping us carry on this important and meaningful event.
(Cash and check donations will also still be accepted if you wish to deliver or mail them to First United Methodist Church, 135 W. Simpson Street, Mechanicsburg PA, 17055. Please make checks out to FUMC with Sleep Out as the memo).
To learn more about the youth ministries participating in this event, please check out their church websites: