Stepping in someone else's shoes

Instead of spending Saturday night at the movies or the mall, eight ninth-grade girls and a chaperone spent last Saturday night outdoors in a cardboard box.

"I don't know how people do it everyday," said one of the girls Kirby Socker, 14.

In recognition of national hungry and homeless week, the ninth graders spent 12 hours in a homemade cardboard box, on Nov. 13, to raise money and awareness for the local rescue mission. They started at 7:30 p.m. and camped at the Belgium Cold Springs Fire Department between a dumpster and a shack, the girls said. National hungry and homeless week was recognized from Nov. 14 to 20.

Their box was about 6 by 10-feet and was not tall enough for them to stand in. It was held together with duct tape with a tarp for its roof, they said.

The group said they decided to do this event because they were approached by the rescue mission to help and they wanted to do something that they could get pledges for, such as walking.

"So, we decided to walk in a homeless person's shoes," said Grace Santoro, 14, one of the girls that participated.

The girls went the whole night, with nothing but a camera, blankets and some drinks. To help the time go by faster, they sang songs and tried to sleep, they said.

"We didn't think it was right to have food and drink," Santoro said. "It defeats the purpose."

Socker added, "If we're sleeping outside, why not go the whole way?"

All of the participants went the whole night without their phones.

"One lady told me that she would pledge $10 if I spent the night and $15 if I spent the night without my cell phone," said Melissa Voyer, 14, and one of the participants. "So I got the extra $5."

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