For the past three years, the Daybreak Shelter has hosted the “Sleepout,” an annual charity event that raises funds for Macon’s homeless community and awareness for their plight.
To participate, a person or team raises $1,000 to sleep outside in the cold.
“By no means will they understand what it’s like to be homeless, but it is our attempt to show solidarity,” said June Bryant, executive liaison for Daybreak’s Sleepout.
The third annual Sleepout will be held in Central City Park on Feb. 25.
For dinner, Daybreak will provide soup and bread at 6:30 p.m. Then, some of Daybreak’s regulars will talk about their experiences with homelessness before teams head out to the park to camp.
Participants are encouraged to pack warm clothes, a sleeping bag and a tent. Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation will provide fire pits.
This year, Daybreak hopes to have 100 people participate and raise $100,000, said Gary Musoff, one of four Sleepout board members.
He said an anonymous donor has offered to match the funds raised by 10 new sleepers.
The funds raised from the event will go directly to Daybreak, which provides the homeless with coffee, a shower, laundry and a safe place to rest, Bryant said.
Daybreak has reached out to local businesses, churches and Mercer University’s students and faculty to participate.
“We mostly get adults, but we’re hoping to get some Mercer students,” said Sister Katie Norris, director of the event.
Mercer University senior Conner Wood said she plans to organize a group of 15 students to attend.
She said she plans on raising a minimum of $250 for the Sleepout.
“In the past, students haven’t really been involved with the event in any capacity,” Wood said. “This year, my role is to gather a group of students or have students donate.”
Norris said one part of the Sleepout experience is to have participants interact with the homeless.
For more information, call the Daybreak Center at 478-955-4519.