Habitat for Humanity Sleeps Out for the Homeless


Sacred Heart University Habitat for Humanity club members enjoying lawn games at their annual sleep out event. Photo from Sacred Heart University Habitat for Humanity official Facebook.

By Tessa Kielbasa

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University’s Habitat for Humanity club held their annual Sleep Out event on March 23 from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. The organization has been holding this event for the past 10 years.

The event was held on 63’s Patio and ran through the night to symbolize the struggles homeless people encounter every day.

“It was created on the idea that homeless people have to sleep outside every night, so we can give up one night of college fun to reflect on that idea,” said senior secretary Sam Haug.

This was the first year Habitat for Humanity held the event during the spring semester. In the past it had been held in October, but holding the event in March gave the members time to thoroughly plan out details.

According to Haug, Sleep Out is the clubs most successful event. People who attended the function had the chance to play games and even meet a family who had their house built by Habitat for Humanity.

The Sacred Heart band, choir, and dance team performed at the event. Students also had the opportunity to play corn hole, Kan Jam and participate in a scavenger hunt.

An activity that was planned for the Sleep Out was Habitat Olympics, which would allow students to compete in competitions such as hammering in nails.

“We take cardboard boxes and build houses out of them and stay up all night in
solidarity with the homeless,” said senior co-fundraising chair Theresa Fletcher.

The club was able to get food donated from Chipotle, as well as Donut Crazy. Those who attended the event had the chance to enjoy the food after the $2 admission fee.

The money the club raises goes to Habitat for Humanity’s local chapter of Coastal Fairfield County.

According to the club’s Vice President, Danielle Dy, the organization has made Sleep Out a Pioneer Pride event. That means it is an opportunity for students to show their love for Sacred Heart as well as earning free prizes. They hoped this change would make the event even more successful than past years.

“My goal for Sleep Out would be to raise campus awareness and get different people involved. We are going to stay out till three in the morning,” said senior president Jacqueline Galeno.

The 63’s patio was decorated with balloons, streamers and banners that matched the club’s colors of blue and green. Music was also blaring out of a speaker to help keep the mood upbeat according to Galeno.

The Sacred Heart Habitat club has an active membership of 150 and was founded in 1994. Throughout the years, Sacred Heart students have been helping the homeless by attending service trips all over the country.

This year, the club held four trips to California, Michigan, Iowa and North Carolina. 65 students traveled this year according to the club’s advisor Professor Ron Hammel.

“It’s really great giving back to the community. It’s a life changing experience where you grow from day one to where I am three years later,” said Dy.

Different Habitat for Humanity chapters at other universities have similar events all over the country.

“Habitat is family,” said Fletcher.

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