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Sleep Out for Homelessness by Talia Miller

On Thursday 1 November, our much anticipated sleep out to raise awareness for homelessness kicked off. Initiated by a group of year 11’s, students in years 8, 9, and 10 gathered at Masada College for a night of activities, before sleeping under the stars.

Everyone arrived at 7:15 pm and stored their sleeping bags in their assigned areas – boys near the junior school, girls in the undercroft. Dinner was a small affair of soup and bread, followed by two talks: the first by Jason Juretic, the CEO of Stepping Stone House, an organisation that cares for and helps homeless individuals. Jason spoke about the uniqueness of the organisation and about the various programs implemented, before showing us statistics of the success rate of the House. The students were highly engaged, asking many questions, before putting their new knowledge to good use in a short trivia game run by the next speaker, Gali Blacher, the co-founder of The Good Box.

This social enterprise creates and packages small boxes filled with essential goods, delivering them to charities or directly to people in need. After a quick introduction to how this was founded and how it works, students then participated in helping package a number of these boxes, filling them with tampons, towels, tuna cans, and a number of other goods.

After a jeopardy- style trivia game, the students headed to bed, armed with a cardboard box as a mattress. They enjoyed a fun (albeit sleepless) night under the stars, and were then supplied with a small breakfast of cereal and a hot chocolate. The next day was school as normal, with Oz Harvest coming to collect the trolley of canned food each student had donated to.

Everyone had a fun and engaging night, and we hope that this becomes an annual event.

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