SPM 101 students sleep overnight in cardboard boxes, collect personal care items to benefit Rescue Mission
In the past year, an average of 235 people who might otherwise have been homeless stayed at the Rescue Mission shelter nightly. On October 10, 37 students enrolled in SPM 101—Personal and Social Responsibility—will sleep in cardboard boxes overnight on the SU Quad to raise awareness about homelessness. As part of these efforts, they are collecting personal care items to benefit men using the Rescue Mission shelter in the Syracuse community, including razors, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks and underwear.
“We talked about this project the very first day of class. Many of the students were initially apprehensive about sleeping outside. However, the students are beginning to understand they have an important role to play in giving back to the communities where they live and work today and into the future. The students are focused on educating others about the issues of homelessness and doing something practical, like collecting supplies. The Rescue Mission has been a great partner to work with the past few years and we are excited to be working with them again,” notes Falk College associate professor of sport management, Jeff Pauline, who leads the course. The coursework and related projects address personal ethical principles and social responsibility. Partially funded through a gift by SPM Advisory Council member, David Kleinhandler, it is offered through the Falk College’s Department of Sport Management.
Boxes have been donated by Syracuse Moving and Storage for the event, and students are only allowed to bring a sleeping bag/blanket, duct tape, and a small pillow—no electronics or other comforts are permitted. Students will decorate their boxes and create educational signage for the campout area to raise visibility of the overall event. According to the Rescue Mission, the Great Cardboard Campout is similar to a charity race in that participants approach others to ask for donations. In exchange, the participating students will camp out overnight in a box. The Rescue Mission’s goal is to have 12,500 students throughout Onondaga, Cayuga and Broome counties camp out and make a commitment to do something about homelessness.