Churches Collaborate with Cardboard Box City Weekend

Date Posted: 4/10/2014

Would you give up your bed tonight... if doing so could change a life?  What if it could change yours? By spending the night in a cardboard box, residents from several Gulf Coast area churches worked together in early April to raise awareness and funds designated to help the homeless.

“To tell you the truth, when our family ended up in our situation [homeless], I really did not know what to expect. We were desperate to get shelter for our children. Most shelters split up the family, but Family Promise keeps families together,” shared a former Family Promise client. “Being in a shelter was a lot different than we could have ever imagined. We had a lot of debts that were way overdue and with the help of directors, staff, and volunteers we were able to get back on our feet. We had fun family game nights and great conversations with people at the churches. People didn’t judge, they just listened, and sometimes just someone who will listen makes everything a little easier. So, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you, everyone, for everything. Please keep doing what you are doing with Family Promise because you do make a difference.”

First UMC Pearland was one of the host sites for the April 4-5 Cardboard Box City weekend, as part of an ongoing effort to increase awareness and raise funds to help serve homeless families in the community. The thousands of dollars raised from the overnight event will help the local Family Promise organization further its efforts to transition families from homelessness into housing. Thirteen area churches serve as host congregations for the organization.

According to FUMC Mission Director Lori Saia, participants “rented” a spot on the parking lot for $50, brought their own cardboard “house,” and spent the night outside to learn firsthand the harsh realities of a life without a solid roof overhead. Participants from six area churches of different denominations were served a basic soup kitchen type meal of soup, crackers, cookies, and water and participated in games designed to help emulate the life of someone who is homeless.

Adds Lori, “The weekenders were blessed with beautiful weather this year for a night of sleeping on the ground in a box. They were sent home Saturday morning with merely a sack breakfast.”