A night sleeping unsheltered in low 40-degree temperatures aimed to help John F. Kennedy Catholic High School students better understand what it's like to be homeless.
Seventeen students and faculty members camped out on the school's Burien campus Feb. 21 as part of its third annual "Night Out for the Homeless." The event is organized by Kennedy Catholic's St. Vincent de Paul Society to raise donations for and awareness of the homeless community in the area.
"It's well worth braving the cold and the discomfort of spending the night outside unprotected to see the compassion and empathy it brings to the students who participate," said SVdP faculty advisor Jen Parker-Haas in a press release about the event.
Prior to the overnight, club members collected supplies, clothing and blankets for homeless teens, most of which were donated to StandUp for Kids Seattle, a local nonprofit supporting homeless and at-risk youth.
While camping out in their makeshift shelters of boxes, blankets and sleeping bags, students also shared reflections on homeless issues and prayed for their neighbors in need of food and shelter. The next morning, StandUp for Kids Seattle's Nancy LaJambe came to share how the student participants could continue advocating for the homeless and poor.