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Laurier students live outside to raise awareness about homelessness
Students from Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus are living outdoors for five days and nights to raise awareness about homelessness. The annual event, part of the national 5 Days for the Homeless campaign, takes place from March 10 to 15.
This is the sixth year Laurier students will be participating in the event. They hope to raise $15,000 for two local youth homeless shelters: KW ROOF and Argus Residence. Last year, Laurier raised more than $10,000.
Students Pat Donnelly, Nicholas Goodfellow, Yanna Klimenko, Hannah Lee and Sara Cousineau will live “homeless” on campus for five nights.
“We strive to provide a meaningful and lasting experience to passionate and dedicated students who wish to volunteer their time and effort to support their fellow youth,” Laiya Carayannopoulos, this year’s 5 Days campaign director. “The 5 Days campaign seeks to eliminate the stigma of youth homelessness in our communities and mobilize university students to aid in improving the lives of homeless and at-risk youth.”
The participants must follow a strict set of rules:
- They must remain on campus for the duration of the campaign
- They have no access to food or drink other than what is donated to them
- They have no access to shelter, no disposable income and no bathrooms other than what their student cards allow them to access
- They have one pillow and one sleeping bag which can be traded for an emergency meal
- They must attend all of their regular classes and complete all of their academic responsibilities
During this period, the students will also blog and share their experiences with their peers. “By doing so, we hope to bring awareness to a pressing, but often overlooked issue in our communities,” said Carayannopoulos.
Visit www.5days.ca/wilfridlaurier to read blogs about the participants’ experiences and to donate. Donations are also welcome in person; the students will be staying in the quad area outside the Fred Nichols Campus Centre.
The 5 Days campaign team will also be collecting winning Roll up the Rim tabs to donate to the local Out of the Cold program, an initiative started by Laurier staff member Cec Joyal. The tabs are passed on to the homeless, who can start their day with a coffee and a small snack. Boxes to deposit winning tabs will be stationed around campus.
For more information, contact Laiya Carayannopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 5 Days for the Homeless campaign was founded at the University of Alberta.