Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
The 5 Days for the Homeless fundraising campaign is part of a nationwide initiative and students from across Canada take part in the annual fundraiser. During the five days they spend outside, students will have only a pillow and a sleeping bag and will have no food except the perishable food that is donated to them. While the students will be living and sleeping outside, they will be required to attend classes.
From 5 p.m. on March 9, to 5 p.m. on March 14, Brock University students will spend five days and nights living and sleeping outside. The goal of the 15 students is to raise money and food for Community Care/Housing Help of St. Catharines & Thorold.
Goodman School of Business student Ben Zavitz will be participating in 5 Days for the Homeless for the third time.
1. This is your third year sleeping outside to raise funds for our local Community Care. What motivates you to keep participating year after year?
The cold. This may sound counter-intuitive; however, the colder it gets, the more motivated I get. Community Care helps 1,850 households per month on average. Of those 1,850 households, 40%-50% are children. This number to me is staggering of those in the community needing help. It is not the most comfortable five days a year, it is still only five days a year.
2. What makes 5 Days for the Homeless unique as a fundraiser?
5 Days for the Homeless has changed my mindset entirely. I used to think that poverty was something that could be changed; that it just took some elbow grease to work yourself out of. I now understand that it is a vicious cycle and can potentially entrap anyone. I have been empathetic for charities I thought by going door to door. Empathy for 5 Days goes further as raising money I am now cold, hungry, and tired. It really takes a literal “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” saying.
3. This year, Don Cyr, Dean of the Goodman School of Business, will be spending a night outside. What tips are you going to give him to prepare to sleep outside?
Wow, this news was the best I had heard all day! I would like to thank Dean Cyr for his level of engagement with students, as this may be a first for the 5 Days event nationwide.
The best advice for 5 Days would have to be BYOB – Bring your own boxes. The brickwork ground outside of Taro Hall is not as comfortable as it looks. Add a little cardboard, and it will feel like a Tempur-pedic. Well, kind of.
4. It has been a very cold winter so far: how do you think the weather will impact this year’s charity event?
Two years ago, the weather was unseasonably warm. The direct effect was more students outside, and more charitable donations. We are hoping that word of mouth, and marketing will supplement the lack of an early spring.
5. How can Goodman students and the Niagara community support 5 Days for the Homeless?
Showing support and stopping by means a lot to the participants. Primarily, the best support is in the form of nonperishable food and money. On Monday, March 10th starting at 7:30 p.m. there will be a benefit concert featuring local bands happening at Isaac's. It is a mix of Rock and Acoustic music helping to raise money. See you next week Niagara, come by - say hi!
How to donate to 5 Days for the Homeless
Online donations for 5 Days for the Homeless will be accepted at http://5days.ca/brock/.
From March 9 to March 14, donations of non-perishable food and money will be accepted outside Taro Hall at Brock University. Donations are always accepted at Community Care’s warehouse at 12 North St, St. Catharines.
A benefit concert for 5 Days for the Homeless will be held on Monday, March 10 at 7 p.m. at Isaac’s Bar and Grill-Brock University. Tickets are $5 or the donation of five non-perishable food items.
Dean Cyr and Goodman student Katey Gatta (www.kateygatta.com) will be busking outside Taro Hall on Thursday, March 13 between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.