Online Staff Report
Individuals and teams of all ages will get a small taste of what it’s like to be homeless at Rockford Rescue Mission’s SLEEP/WALK: Sleep a Night in My Box and Walk a Mile in My Shoes event Nov. 11-12, at Road Ranger Stadium in Loves Park.
The activity is designed to raise awareness of the plight of the hungry and homeless in the Rockford area while generating funds for the Mission’s life-changing programs and services.
Beginning Friday at 7 p.m., participants will check in to participate in a 1-mile walk to show solidarity and support for the homeless and poverty-stricken men, women and children in the greater Rockford area. They will then enjoy a concert by Silver, hear actual stories of once-homeless people who received help at the Mission, construct cardboard-box houses, watch the film The Pursuit of Happyness, and fall asleep under the stars. Saturday morning, they’ll share a simple breakfast.
Rockford Rescue Mission Executive Director Sherry Pitney explained: “There are hundreds of people in our area for whom homelessness is the only life they know. They are uncertain where their next meal will come from. We hope this event will give our more fortunate friends and neighbors an opportunity to better understand the challenges the homeless face on a daily basis and learn how easy it is to make a difference in their lives.”
To participate in the walk and sleep-out, individuals must raise a minimum of $50. To participate only in the walk, each individual must raise $25. A fifth member of a family team will be added at no charge if they share the same address with the other members. Additional donations are appreciated and will benefit Rockford Rescue Mission.
Awards will be presented Friday evening to the individual and group raising the most funds and the largest team participating. The winner of the most creative box design will be awarded Saturday morning. Individuals raising $50 will receive a long-sleeved event T-shirt; $100 or more will receive a hooded sweatshirt as a memento of their unique experience. Participants will be given extra door prize tickets for every $25 increment raised over the first $25, thus increasing their chance to win a door prize.
Pitney said: “This is a brand-new twist on an annual event for the Mission — registrations are streaming in, and the excitement is already building. We’re so grateful to everyone who plans to join us in helping to rescue, recover and restore broken lives here in Rockford and Winnebago County.”
Detailed information, online registration and downloadable registration forms are available on the Mission’s website, www.rockfordrescuemission.org/events, or by calling Vickie at (815) 965-6172.
Road Ranger Stadium is at 4503 Interstate Blvd., Loves Park.