FINAL DAY: MALLORY
So today is the last night we sleep outside. Unfortunately due to university policy in regards to weather, we were not allowed to sleep outside last night. So instead, we set up in the 24-Lounge on campus. This was also challenging because it was a new environment. Although it was warm, we had adapted to our cardboard/skid built shelter from the previous nights. This did not stop us from continuing with the campaign. We were up bright and early for the early risers, and held down our shelter throughout the day.
Nothing significant happened throughout the day for us today. Every one had very little class, which meant there was a lot of being out in the cold. The sun did come out at one point in the day, which made the temperature not feel as bad as it actually was. I would have to say that the heat pads donated to us came in handy for our fingers and toes throughout the day.
The day had progressed really slowly, especially with it being so cold outside. We experienced a lot of excitement however, around noon when our fast was completed. The ending of the fast was donated by Meal in a Jar and it was super delicious. We then began receiving an influx of food donations. We had pizza, beef stew, chili, sloppy joe burgers, coffee/tea/hot chocolate, timbits, candy, apples, Wilf’s spindip, soups etc. As amazing as this was, it really made me appreciate how lucky we were to have such a supportive and caring community. Most individuals experiencing homelessness do not always receive this type of support, so it was something we were all incredibly thankful for.
Lastly, what really topped off the day was the mega-emotional open forum we held this evening. We expressed our thoughts on the campaign, and learned more about it as well, including a representative from one of the local youth shelters that the campaign sponsors. What really struck me and made me emotional (yes, tears included!) was this one male student. He was a bystander who happened to be walking past the discussion and took a seat to listen.
Towards the end of the evening, he put his hand up and told us his opinion. He explained how at the beginning of the week, he had thought that we were only staying outside during the day. But then later in the week (when we had received our huge snow storm), he happened to be wandering through campus at 4am and saw us sleeping outside. His expression on how we made such an impact on him as an individual was so thought provoking, and made everyone in the discussion circle stop and tear up! It was a compliment like this that made us realize why we did this, this week. He got it. He understood what we were doing, and he let us know how great we were for doing it. And many people have said this while walking by us at our shelter this week, but just the way that he stopped and took time out of his evening to get informed and to share his opinion while we were in our most vulnerable state is what hit us. It feels good to have made a difference, and to have taught people (even if it was just one person) about youth homelessness. We were so fulfilled and the remainder of the evening was a teary one at best with the rest of the incredibly hardworking Organizing Committee. We were a fantastic team, and we achieved so much more than we had hoped for this far into the campaign.
Posted on Friday, March 14th, 2014 @ 2:03PM
Categories: 5Days Laurier