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Box City volunteers raise money for the homeless

LAWTON, Okla._To spread awareness of the homelessness here, a local group called 'Family Promise' is hosting a "Cardboard Box City" Friday at Cameron.

At the event, registered volunteers will set up box homes, and spend the night in them, just as if they were homeless. There are over five hundred homeless children registered in Lawton Public Schools, the average age is only 5 years old. By spending the night in a box, volunteers hope to shine light on how homelessness affects the children and their families.

This event isn't just so people can see how those that are homeless live, but to the let the homeless know that they matter.

"This is an event that will raise awareness but the people that are homeless; we always want them to know that homelessness is just a situation they are in at the time. It does not define who they are, and so these are the people that are working hard trying to give back to society, trying to become self sustaining," said Edwina Reddick-Scott, executive director of Family Practice.

For many volunteers, it is an experience of a lifetime, a way to see how the other half live. However, instead of sleeping in a mansion like one half, you sleep in a box like the other half.

"It is eye opening when you experience homelessness, even though it is for a very short period of time. It's like, you know, 6 or 7 hours...it's just very eye opening to what people in need go through," said Sarah Head, shelter director for Carter-Crane Homeless Shelter.

Family Promise believes that homelessness is a real challenge to our community, but it's not a challenge that Lawton can't overcome.

"If we want our community to be a good community, that community has to know how to support those that are less fortunate then each of us have a role to play in that," said Reddick-Scott.

It's not too late to volunteer to spend a night in a box. It costs $25.00 to get your space and Friday is the last day to register. Last year, the Cardboard Box City event raised over $9,000 that went directly to helping homeless children and their families.

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