Clarion, Pa.- The cold weather did not stop students from gathering around the apple sculpture by the Science and Technology Center and laying in cardboard boxes on Saturday.
From 5 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 7, 25 students headed to the apple sculpture with blankets and other essentials to keep warm. Once they got to the apple, they were instructed to pick a cardboard box and construct it into a living quarters, as if they were building a home while homeless.
They lined their boxes with warm blankets and made themselves as comfortable as they could for the night ahead. After building their homes, they put their boxes side by side to form a complex.
The boxes were provided by senior communication major Marishika Wright. For her senior project, she decided to do the Living in a Box Project. She wanted to do this because she felt that homelessness goes unnoticed, and she wanted people to be able to get the experience to show how hard it can be.
Saturday night temperatures reached a low of 36, but that stopped no one and only enhanced the experience, showing that homeless individuals do not get a break in the cold. Wright thought that the turnout was amazing for how cold it was.
Students were not the only ones who participated in this event. A mother brought her children because she wanted them to see firsthand what homeless people actually had to endure. Wright was extremely pleased with the turnout, not only with how many people showed up, but how they all interacted with each other too.
Attendee Joshlyn Lawhorn said, “It was crazy to see firsthand how homeless people stay in colder weather.”
Wright does not want anyone to take anything for granted because someone out there is struggling for what most people take for granted. Many other students claimed that they were thankful for what they have and that they could not imagine having to live like that.
Even people that did not stay to fully participate and just walked by also voiced their opinions. Everyone that was interested in finding out what was going on said that they thought it was an interesting and awesome idea. Wright considered this night to be a success and would definitely run the event again if she could.
Giving students the experience for awareness was not the only part of the project. Marishika was also accepting donations for items to go towards local shelters. For anyone who is interested, donations will be taken until Nov. 16 in Gemmell Room 279. Accepted items include non-perishables, hygiene products and clothing. She appreciates all of the donations received so far and would like to thank the university for all of the support.