VIENNA, W.Va. -Members of the Life Teen and Edge groups of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Little Hocking spent a cold evening outdoors in an effort to call attention to the problem of homelessness in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
About 20 members of the groups gathered in the parking lot of the Vienna Kmart and spent the night in cardboard boxes to raise money to donate to the Salvation Army homeless shelter and to a family in the Little Hocking-Cutler area who lost their home in a recent fire, said Chris Clatterbuck, service project coordinator.
Clatterbuck said the group has a goal of raising $5,000 in the event. They will use three methods to raise money: Pledged sponsorship, "drive-by" collection of cash donations and hygiene products at the site and direct solicitation of area businesses by the students or their parents.
JEFFREY SAULTON Special to the Times
Micah Penco of Parkersburg gets ready for the evening in a cardboard box for the Battle Against Homelessness in Vienna that began Friday and will end at 5 p.m. Saturday.
There was also a special second offering collection at the church last week to raise money.
Serge Molinari said that while this was the first time they have sponsored an event to help the homeless, they have been participated in other projects.
"We've been involved in the Day of Caring and working on the Sacred Heart House," he said. "We also did a famine program through World Vision."
Jasmine Finnie said she got involved in the project to help raise awareness of the homeless.
"I got involved to help others and to let people know there is a need to come together to stop homelessness," she said.
James Mason, of Belpre, said he was involved to show "support for the veterans who are living on the streets."
"I'm here to see what it is like for the homeless so we can tell others what it's like," said Micah Penco, of Parkersburg.
Nathan Vincent said he helped organize the event.
"I was on the committee for this from the start," he said. "We want to learn what it is like for the homeless so we can help."