Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cartons, Cars to Be 'Homes' to Raise Awareness and Cash; Brunswick Church Alerts Community to the 'Invisible Homeless'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cartons, Cars to Be 'Homes' to Raise Awareness and Cash; Brunswick Church Alerts Community to the 'Invisible Homeless'

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY DICKSON

BRUNSWICK - People with no place else to go sometimes sleep in shipping boxes or their cars.

But others will pay to do just that Saturday in the Sleep Out for the hungry and homeless.

The Chapel, a United Methodist Church, already has 100 people signed up to spend the night on the church grounds, paying $5 each to sleep in a corrugated paper box or $10 to sleep in their own cars, said Whitney Herndon, coordinator of the event.

The normal image of the homeless is of someone sleeping on a park bench, but the fundraiser is for those who are not as noticeable, Herndon said.

"Our event serves the people you don't see: the invisible homeless, like single parents and youth who might sleep at a different house every night,'' she said.

There are many people who are working as hard as they can, but still can't afford quality homes and have children whose only nutritious meals are eaten at school, Herndon said.

In addition to charging for boxes, the church will charge to eat from a soup line and to buy decorating supplies for the boxes, and hold other fundraisers throughout the night. It also will accept donations of canned goods, clothing and blankets, Herndon said.

The money will go to the America's Second Harvest capital campaign for a new warehouse and the canned goods will fill its shelves, she said.

With many of its shelves bare Monday, it would appear that Second Harvest doesn't need more room, but Chandra Mahony, executive director of the branch, said more room will allow the agency to accept more food.

If it had refrigerated storage space, the agency could accept large corporate donations of cheese, yogurt and other items that are nearing their expiration dates.

Because food leaves the Brunswick distribution center so quickly, "Expiration dates aren't a problem for us,'' Mahony said. …

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