October 19, 2014

Cardboard City - 0100 hours

When I entered education in 2006, I never thought I would be sitting in the school gym at 1am on a Saturday night!  But, it's nights like these when I remember why I do what I do.  Tonight is Cardboard City IV, our annual fundraiser for New Horizons for New Hampshire.  Over 75 students are on the front lawn of our school (none are sleeping though it seems!) experiencing homeless for a night.  They also raised funds from families and friends and all of the proceeds will go to New Horizons.  
Students began arriving around 6pm to set-up their cardboard homes for the night.  We then went into the gym at 8pm for Sunday Vigil Mass celebrated by our chaplain, Father Richard Dion.  He spoke of his own experiences as a seminarian serving homeless people in Baltimore, bringing them sandwiches and soup.  One woman said to him, "You really care about us, why?"  One of the seminarians said, "Because we are bringing God's mercy" (or something to that effect, I can't recall the precise quote but it was very moving).  He also said another homeless woman told a fellow seminarian that she was going to commit suicide that night but the fact that the guys brought them food gave her hope.  

Following Mass, the students were treated to pizza by my friend Dan Puopolo.  Dan bought them pizza last year too and graciously offered to do it again this year.  We then all watched the movie "Rudy."  Fun fact - Mr. Sheehan '79 of our math department was at the Notre Dame game when they filmed the final scene in the stadium.

Now the students are outside talking, throwing balls around, and some are playing basketball in the gym.  We will wrap up in about 5 1/2 hours at sunrise.  Please pray for these amazing young people and the generous adults who are staying up with me tonight.

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