This week there were a lot of moments when I thought to myself, “Why am I doing this?” And I always thought of this story:
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!” -adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley
If this campaign makes a difference in just one person’s life, everything will have been worth it. Yes, I haven’t showered in 4 days and probably have enough lint in my belly button to fix the hole in my pants.
But everything I experienced pales in comparison to what some children, real children, have to go through every day, every week, every month right here in Saskatoon. Because I spent this week making a difference in the community, it will be one of my favourite weeks of my undergrad. Being a homeless participant this week taught me to not take the little things for granted and appreciate everything you have.
I’d like to thank Kim and all of the OC for everything they did this week for us, and to my fellow HP’s, you all rock and I couldn’t have asked for a better team!
One last thought. This campaign only lasts one week, but EGADZ operates all year. If you are ever in the position to donate, they have a wish-list on their website for supplies they need. Many people said we were brave this week, but this only took 5 days of our time. For EGADZ, they have committed themselves week after week to helping Saskatoon’s youth, and they deserve all of the respect in the world!
The first thing I’m going to do when I become not homeless? Pet my dog and eat a cheeseburger!
This is my last night sleeping outside and my last post 🙁 … I feel so excited to take a shower and see the results of our campaign. We have been working so hard for all of you. I feel so proud and thankful for my team and everyone who have donated.
Today, I were in the middle of a hall smiling and shaking my box for some change. I realized the different reactions and faces of people. We have the ones that feel sorry for you but do not donate!, or the open hearth ones that want a different world [thank you for your existence] But, the ones that really impacted me were the ones that turn their faces and preferred to ignored me and with that preferred to ignore all the issues in this society. For those who preferred to live ignoring and oppressing minorities, let me tell you we still here and we do not gonna give up. We are part of this society!!! so you might want to look outside of your bubble and wake up, we need to unify!!…
Tonight, we are going to have more members of the campaign sleeping outside with us. I am excited! Hopefully I will no get again a windy corner. ‘I apologize in advance’ with the OC and HP’s that are sleeping tonight with us: if you hear me scratching my hair or body, I am sorry is because I feel really itchy of not taking a shower this week. oops. By the way, we had a good sleep last night I heard our guest and some HP’s snoring deeply through the night. Probably, I were too. Really good spot to sleep. Let’s see how it goes tonight.
Ps: Please everyone help us tomorrow to meet our goal of 20,000, it is really a good cause! we want children contributing to the society!! 🙂
Peace and love !!
[sorry for too many emojis. I like them!]
I like to think that nobody reads these blogs because it makes it easier to write what is really on my mind. With the end of the campaign in sight I can’t help but think about how I got involved to begin with. When Kim, the project manager of the campaign this year, asked me to participate I kind of agreed without contemplating it too much. I figured it would be an interesting experience and maybe look good on my resume. In the weeks leading up to the campaign I couldn’t help but think, “I don’t know if I care enough about homelessness to be doing this”. Now on the last night of the campaign that could not be further from the truth. The first thing that begin to make me care about the cause was our visit to EGADZ. Hearing first-hand the horror stories and success stories of homeless and at-risk youth here in Saskatoon swayed me a bit. The EGADZ staff were so obviously passionate about their work and while it was inspiring I was still lacking that passion. Then the campaign started and I slept outside in the Saskatchewan cold for the first time. It was one of the worst nights of my life. After that “holy f*** how can anyone sleep like that” moment I began to understand and care even more. Throughout the week there has been no shortage of unpleasant moments and feelings building up the capacity for me to begin to empathize with the homeless. Visits from Kroeker and Ryan (a former homeless participant) continued to drill in the fact that the campaign isn’t about me at all. It’s about the kids, teenagers and young adults who need the support of organizations like EGADZ. So many of them were born into bad situations or have mental illnesses and they need help. Without support they don’t stand a chance. Today thinking about why I’m participating I don’t mind being sleep deprived, sore and stanky. I’m proud to have participated this year because in my heart I know that this a great cause. With that I would like to thank everybody who worked so very hard for the campaign, everybody who donated and of course the people who work day in and day out at EGADZ. With a very special thanks to Kimberley, Shaylin and Sean!
Sincerely (seriously sincerely),
Our last night! I can’t even begin to know what to say. In some ways this week has flown by so fast, yet in other ways it has lasted forever (looking at you, Sunday night that just wouldn’t end). There are so many things I want to say about this campaign and the amazing experience that it has been. There are so many little things I could mention that have made this past week as stellar as it’s been (for instance, giving up personal electronics means I haven’t heard about a certain American who has a toupee and skin as orange as our shirts in five entire days), but I’m trying to write a blog post here, not a novel to rival War and Peace.
Let’s kick things off with some thank yous. Thank you to Mama Kim for literally everything you do for us, and the campaign as a whole. You are so dedicated to this cause and your passion and commitment shine through in all that you take on. The campaign is going to miss you next year. Keep on keepin’ on!
Thank you to Papa Shay and Papa Sean. You guys rock – you keep us on track and keep us motivated. Thanks for tucking us in at night and waking us up in the morning. Even on the most uncomfortable of nights (looking at you again Sunday night), it’s reassuring to have you guys around and know that not only did you make it through nights like these but you came back to the campaign again.
If we’re going with the family theme, shout-out to Grandpa Ryan. Thanks for your evening visits– you motivate us to make 5 Days bigger and better than ever and remind us how incredible EGADZ is for Saskatoon.
Speaking of EGADZ, huge thank you to you as well! You do so much good in this world and make a difference in the lives of so many individuals and still somehow have time to bring us hot chocolate and sandwiches. Your enthusiasm is contagious – never stop doing what you do.
Thank you to the rest of our 5 Days OC family: all of our finance, community, donations, social media, and public relations aunts, uncles, and cousins. You do so much behind-the- scenes work that people may not realize and you’re our favourite support network for the campaign.
Thank you to Dale, Kroeker, campus security, my profs, my friends and family (the blood kind this time), the USask student body, our sponsors, and the 5 Days for the Homeless national campaign. I know I’m forgetting at least 648, 937 people who have made this campaign into the week that it was, but whoever you are, know that you made a difference to everyone involved.
Tomorrow is our last day, so dig deep into the sides of your couch, skip your morning coffee, whatever you need to do – donate and help us meet our goal. It’s for the kidz.
Today was such a good day!!
Let’s start with last night! We had a roof over our heads, we shared secrets and told gross stories as bedtime stories, and one of the campus safety guy, Seth, came and told us poop stories as bed time stories!! HAHA! We had our celebrity sleepover, with his amazing voice he told us about college football poop stories as bed time stories as well! LOL!
Even though I woke up a few times in the night because of the cold, I still think that it was a decent sleep – as good as it can be in the cold dark nights..
My day has just went smoothly ever since! I went to do classroom presentations in the morning, then to my class. I brought my little donation house to the forum for my election (the other campaign thing I am doing), then at the bus stops during “rush (to go home and nap) hours, and then to a council meeting! Lots of people outside of ESB learned about 5 days for the homeless!
I had a performance tonight at a bar, so papa Shad went with me for “supervision”, I invited him on stage as my “live prop”, and we promoted 5D4H AGAIN! Passed the house around and lots of people donated! I didn’t realize it was a competition, but if I do win anything, I will donate it to E-Gadz!
I am excited for our last night, as it’s our OC sleepovers! I CANNOT wait to go home and shower tomorrow, then to sleep with my 3 lovely kitties tomorrow night! I miss them so so much!! <3
When I get my phone back tomorrow, I will challenge all of the candidates that are running in the USSU election (my other campaign stuff), to top a donation from my campaign team, and hopefully do a last PUSH to the campaign!!!
I am excited to expand 5D4H to not just mainly ESB, but to the whole University next year!! I will hope to challenge our next 5D4H to have an HP from different colleges! Not only will that increase the awareness, between different colleges they will be competing between each other!! I have lots of great ideas and I cannot wait for 5D4H 2018!!!
Let’s hope for the best for our last night! AND, I am thankful that I can say “This will be the last night I have to sleep outside in the cold”. Not everyone has the privilege to say that.
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing isn’t enough, we must DO!”
P.S. I made sure I tapped my pants again before I go on stage, because I have two holes since the second day…. and they just kept growing, they are massive now. 🙁