On March 29th the greater Camden community came together to support Covenant House via the first-ever Sleep Out Camden Community Edition held at the Kroc Center in Camden. We are so grateful to the 99 participants on 20 teams who through their amazing efforts raised $135,000 to support our work.
We are so happy to welcome Ashley Shaw, Greg Buono, Tina McDonnell, Emily Beck, Steve Shaw, Chris Johnson, Colleen Wenk, Zulma Gonzalez-Lombardo and Thomas Chuchelow into our CHNJ Statewide K Club for their extraordinary efforts in each raising more than $3,000. And further recognition to the top fundraising team – Team Holman with over $20,000 raised to support our work. Kudos to our event sponsor Subaru for their support, including their $25,000 matching gift. Subaru has been a consistent supporter of ours over many years and we’re so grateful to have a caring partner in Southern NJ. You can view photos of all our wonderful participants here.
During the event, the participants heard from staff and some of our youth about the issues of homelessness and the work CHNJ is doing to help transition our youth from homelessness to independent living. They also heard about the tough circumstances and challenges so many of our youth have to overcome. But in several ways, the event brought youth, staff, and participants closer together including the “Step to the Line” activity where everyone was asked to step forward who had experienced unemployment, a bad relationship, suspension from school and other questions designed to show that we often share more than we realize.
Following the “Step to the Line” activity, participants were given a sleeping bag and slept outdoors on the Kroc Center pavement in solidarity with those youth who find themselves homeless and alone. It was a night that most won’t forget, epitomized by this comment from one of the participants, “What an impactful event. I got so much more than I gave!”
So thank you to all who participated in our first ever Sleep Out Camden Community event to make it so successful. Because of you and many others across NJ, Sleep Outs will raise over $2 million to support our work in FY19!