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Would you Sleep Out on Saturday, November 1st?

September 18, 2008

Welcome to the first of many blogs for the fifth annual SOS (Sleep out Saturday) season. Every week we will post more information about the what, where, when, and how to get involved in SOS 2008. Please feel free to chime in with any questions or comments; we want to hear from you!

You can either sleep out with your church or community youth group or ask friends to join you in your backyard. Either way, it’s your chance to experience homelessness for one night and make a difference in someone else’s life by asking friends and family to sponsor you. We purposely sleep out in November so you get a real feel for what it’s like to be outside looking in (that’s our theme for this year) on a cold autumn night. Then just imagine what it’s like in the winter!

SOS is put on by Bridge Communities, a non-profit organization in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. They help homeless people in DuPage County become self-sufficient again. Today, Bridge is celebrating 20 years of transforming the lives of homeless families through partnering with talented, resourceful individuals and groups in the community.

On the evening of the Sleep Out, we will provide a number of activities to help you come to grips with what it would be like to be homeless and to realize this problem exists in your own community. Activities may include viewing a movie, doing a scavenger hunt and attending the SOS Rally that evening from 6:30 to 8:00 at Bridge Communities, 505 Crescent Blvd., in Glen Ellyn. The SOS Rally is a great way for the hundreds of sleepers to come together and feel the power of helping your fellow neighbor in your own community.

Here’s what some of the experienced SOS sleepers have said about sleeping out:

  • “How anyone could sleep on the cold and wet ground, and still get up in the morning and go to work or look for work, I don’t understand.”
  • “I had a difficult time sleeping. I was cold and I was afraid my kids were cold. When I did sleep, I dreamed of homeless children. As I heard stories, I became fearful that it could happen to me, or anyone I know.”
  • “This year I learned about the personal struggle to function on a day-to-day basis without the assurance of a roof over my head and a home to rest. This was profound for me. How it must wear on the body and soul”
  • “We learned that we want to use the blessings we have been given to help those in need.”
  • “This is a really important way for many of us who are so fortunate to relate to those unlucky few who have basic needs of shelter, security and love that are unmet.”

Take a look at the video to show you some of the sleepers last year and who they were able to help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siyF8uizz1Q (You can also find this video on www.sleepoutsaturday.org)

Here are suggestions for ways YOU can make a difference. Every bit counts!

  1. Sign up to participate in SOS 2008 – to register go to www.sleepoutsaturday.org
  2. Face book at least three of your friends and tell them about your SOS plan and encourage them to join you! In the coming days, we will be starting a Face book Group.
  3. Ask at least two people this week to make a financial pledge. Once you register, they can make a pledge online! Send them to www.sleepoutsaturday.org
  4. Donate your lunch money for one week to Bridge Communities to help a homeless person in your town.
  5. Plan on starting the SOS night at the Rally with over 1000 other “Sleepers”!

    Check in with us if you have any questions, otherwise we will be back next week to discuss “What does it cost for you to be you?”

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