Kwantlen Park Secondary School in Surrey, BC joined the student Sleep Out movement this fall. Leading up to their night of solidarity, they learned about social issues surrounding youth homelessness and the various supports for homeless youth in their community. They raised awareness about youth homelessness and fundraised to support their peers at Covenant House Vancouver.
“There are people our age who jump from place to place every night, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. I want to do my best to help and make a difference in those people's lives.”
On October 29th, Mr. Mackenzie and his students spent one night sleeping out, so homeless youth wouldn’t have to.
“My head was spinning and my body was really sore throughout the day. For me to think that people have to do this everyday of their lives makes me really upset and mad. …..From this class I've learned so many things about the homeless and I'm willing to make a change. …As I walked away I felt this ecstatic feeling in my stomach and smiled. I felt happy that I could help and try to make someone's day worth living for.”
Mr. Mackenzie’s class raised enough funds to provide four youth with love and support in the Covenant House Vancouver Crisis Shelter program. This program is much more than a safe place to sleep and hot meal. It offers youth with supports to help them change their lives and achieve a brighter future.
“When I went to sleep that night it was raining so bad and the entire time I thought: What are my peers going through right now? … When I think about homeless youth on the streets, I realize they don't have a home or a place where they feel protected. That was when I realized what Covenant House means to them.”
We would like to extend our warmest thanks to Mr. Mackenzie and his students who participated in an experience that they will carry with them for a lifetime. They are the future. They care. They make good things happen.
“A lot of people in this world look at homeless people as if they are a different creature on this planet, and they are not. We are all the same. We're all human.”
If you would like to acknowledge these students for their incredible efforts and enormous hearts, please feel free to comment on this post! You are also invited to make a donation to support their efforts on their Sleep Out: Student Edition fundraising page here.