Students at Friends University “Sleep in a Box” to raise awareness for homelessness in Wichita

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WICHITA, Kansas — The growing issue of homelessness has inspired dozens of students at Friends University to take a stand.

They’re going to be sleeping in cardboard boxes for the next 12 hours to symbolize what the homeless have to face each night.

Around 30 students will be sleeping in a cardboard box Friday night in front of the university’s administrative building.

Organizers hope that by Saturday morning, participating students will walk away with a new perspective on life.

The event is called “Sleep in a Box” and the idea for the event started in June.

Nicole Ujita and a couple of students wanted to spread awareness of homelessness across Wichita to their peers on campus.

Organizers came up with a plan to start collecting old cardboard boxes and using it to set up a place where they can sleep.

They point out, it’s just one of the many struggles that some homeless people have to overcome.

Organizers hope that this will inspire their generation to get involved with their local community groups to end homelessness.

“I think the community can help by making friends and giving a hand to help out,” said Robert Beard, student speaker. “It’s not always about giving someone a plate of spaghetti and sending them on their way, but getting to know people and hearing their story and being a friend essentially.”

“We have the opportunities to go out and do something and give back. Honestly that is something that is so important to give back and remember this, it could be you,” said Nicole Ujita, student organizer. “God forbids something happens, but it’s important to give back. It’s important to go out and make your community a reflection of what it is here.”

The event also featured speakers from the United Methodist Open Door Ministry and Friends University.

The event is expected to wrap up Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m.

Organizers are also planning to team up with a local church in October to travel across town to deliver food to the homeless.


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