Re­lat­ing to those in need

Night of ‘home­less­ness’ fol­lowed by chal­lenge of func­tion­ing at school the next day

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - FRONT PAGE - RON GRECH

While sleep­ing in a card­board box un­der the stars may of­fer a pleas­ant hint of out­door camp­ing for a group of Tim­mins teens.

How­ever, Fiona Moy­lan said one of the most re­veal­ing as­pects of this an­nual ex­er­cise, aimed at mim­ick­ing a night of home­less­ness, is the ef­fort re­quired to func­tion­ing at school the fol­low­ing day.

“It’s re­ally nice that we are forced to go to school the next day to ex­pe­ri­ence the ex­haus­tion part of it,” said Moy­lan, who was one of 38 École sec­ondaire catholique Théri­ault stu­dents tak­ing part in school’s an­nual Home­less Night. “I was re­ally very tired last year so it’s hard for me to imag­ine that peo­ple have to do this ev­ery sin­gle day.”

The tem­per­a­ture was balmy Thurs­day af­ter­noon as the stu­dents were set­ting up their lit­tle vil­lage of card­board boxes on the front lawn of Théri­ault high school where they would be spend­ing the night un­til morn­ing.

Vic­to­ria Hul­ley, a Grade 12 Théri­ault stu­dent, re­called the tem­per­a­ture was con­sid­er­ably more un­com­fort­able the last time she par­tic­i­pated in Home­less Night.

“I did it two years ago and it was at the end of Oc­to­ber, so it was a lit­tle bit colder than this year,” Hul­ley re­called. “It was a good ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause you get to learn what peo­ple go through when they’re out­side and how they feel and all the emo­tions that come through their minds. I think ev­ery­one should have a chance to do it at least once.”

Valérie Faucher, a Grade 10 Théri­ault stu­dent, said in ad­di­tion to gain­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of sleep­ing on the ground in a card­board, stu­dents also col­lect do­na­tion and raise money for sev­eral char­i­ties that as­sist those in need in Tim­mins.

In or­der to par­tic­i­pate, stu­dents had to go door to door and col­lect a min­i­mum of $75 in do­na­tions. Sev­eral raised in ex­cess of $200.

Faucher said there would be more fundrais­ing hap­pen­ing that af­ter­noon.

“We stand on The­ri­ault Boule­vard for an hour and we col­lect money” for Yo-Mo­bile, The Lord’s Kitchen, Pro­ject Love and the Tim­mins Food Bank.

Mélanie Jor­dan, pas­toral co-or­di­na­tor at Théri­ault high school, said the goal of the ex­er­cise is “to raise aware­ness, to help peo­ple within our com­mu­nity” by rais­ing money for char­ity, while plant­ing seeds of so­cial con­scious­ness in the minds of their stu­dents.

“We want them to start at a young age to want to help oth­ers and hope­fully this will con­tinue on into their adult life,” said Jor­dan.

Ron Grech /The Daily Press

Valérie Faucher, from left, Vic­to­ria Hul­ley and Fiona Moy­lan were among the 38 École sec­ondaire catholique Théri­ault stu­dents tak­ing part in school’s an­nual Home­less Night Thurs­day. The ex­er­cise saw the stu­dents ex­pe­ri­ence a taste of life as a home­less per­son for a 12-hour pe­riod, sleep­ing out­side in card­board boxes.

Ron Grech/ The Dai ly Press

Mélanie Jor­dan, pas­toral co-or­di­na­tor at Théri­ault high school, said each stu­dent was asked to raise a min­i­mum of $75 with all pro­ceeds from this event go­ing to­wards The Lord’s Kitchen, The Yo-Mo­bile, Pro­ject Love and the Tim­mins Food Bank.

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