Online Staff Report
More than 250 adults and children of all ages participated in Rockford Rescue Mission’s “SLEEP/WALK: Sleep a Night in My Box and Walk a Mile in My Shoes” event, raising more than $31,000 in cash and pledges. The activity was held Nov. 11-12 at RiverHawks Stadium in Loves Park to kick-off National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
According to Rockford Rescue Mission Executive Director Sherry Pitney, the event is designed to shed light on the burdens experienced by the hungry and homeless in the Rockford area while generating funds for the mission’s programs and services to assist them.
Attendees participated in a 1-mile walk and spent the night in a cardboard box or tent. They also enjoyed a concert and heard a moving testimony presented by a gentleman who has overcome homelessness, addiction and other destructive challenges with the mission’s help.
“The mission feels extremely blessed by each individual who chose to spend the night with us on behalf of those who are homeless or who struggle on a daily basis to keep from becoming homeless,” Pitney said. “I hope they were blessed as well by their experience, and I want them to know they are truly partners in the mission’s work.”
Prizes for several categories of participation were distributed at the conclusion of the event. David Olmsted won the Adult Fund-raiser Award, raising $3,295. Miranda and Matthew Parr tied for the Youth Fund-raiser Award, both raising $1,200. The Outstanding Company Fund-raiser was CB Distributors, with $2,525. The Outstanding School Fund-raiser was Rockford Guilford High School National Honor Society, securing $3,669.
The Most Creative Box design by a corporation or company was awarded to 97ZOK, and the Most Creative Box by an individual or family went to the family of Parker Erickson, who celebrated his 12th birthday at the event.
More about Rockford Rescue Mission’s programs, services and volunteer opportunities can be found on their website at www.rockfordrescuemission.org.
Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year since 1964, Rockford Rescue Mission provides nutritious meals and safe shelter for thousands of hungry and homeless men, women and children every year, along with recovery programs and outreach services to rescue, recover and restore the lives of those who are struggling in our Rockford community.