Students underscore plight of homeless
Eighteen Basehor-Linwood High School students, all of whom belong to the National Honor Society, braved cold and damp conditions last weekend in an attempt to raise awareness to the plight of homeless people.
The program, "Sleep Out for the Homeless," began at 9 p.m. Saturday and ended 6 a.m. Sunday. Participating students slept in cardboard boxes under the bleachers at the high school football stadium.
Saturday marked the second year National Honor Society has undertaken a project regarding homelessness. Last year, 15 students stayed the night under the bleachers.
David Svoboda, National Honor Society sponsor, said temperatures dipped to 33 degrees Saturday night with a wind chill factor of 29 degrees. Rains from the afternoon and precipitation from nearby sprinklers didn't make the sleep over any more comfortable, he said.
The goals of the sleepout are to raise school and community awareness of the dire circumstances homeless people are in, Svoboda said, and to lend a helping hand.
"This is a service act that high school kids can use to raise awareness ... and put something into action," he said.
National Honor Society, as it did last year, soon will begin a drive to acquire donated coats and blankets for Project Warmth, which provides much-needed items to people of limited resources in the Kansas City metropolitan area this winter.
"That's the goal, to put something in motion," Svoboda said.
National Honor Society is an organization that comprises "the best of the best of the best" high school students, Svoboda said.