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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Lot to learn: Five Quick Questions for Dave Hendrix

  • Boy Scouts Troop 173, sponsored by First United Methodist Church of Leavenworth, will be hosting a Homeless Night Awareness event Friday and Saturday in the vacant lot next to the church, 422 Chestnut.Troop members will sleep in cardboard homes Friday night to simulate homeless conditions. Members will also be collecting ...
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  • Boy Scouts Troop 173, sponsored by First United Methodist Church of Leavenworth, will be hosting a Homeless Night Awareness event Friday and Saturday in the vacant lot next to the church, 422 Chestnut.
    Troop members will sleep in cardboard homes Friday night to simulate homeless conditions. Members will also be collecting items for the homeless during, and after, the event.
    Here, Assistant Scout Master Dave Hendrix discusses Homeless Night, the thought process behind hosting it, and insights he hopes troop members take from it.
    1. Why did Boy Scouts Troop 173 decide to host the Homeless Night Awareness event?
    "While on an outing to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the boys noticed several homeless people sleeping under the bridge supports along I-70 and the boys wondered what it would be like to be homeless."
    2. What will the Scouts do on that night to raise awareness about the homeless?
    "We will basically sleep in cardboard boxes using sleeping bags to stay warm, even though most of the homeless don't have the luxury of sleeping bags. We are going to cook either soup or chili and will have it warming throughout the night."
    3. What items will be collected as donations for the homeless?
    "We will be collecting canned food items, clothing — preferably winter clothing, including stocking hats and gloves — and toiletries, no toothbrushes or toothpaste."
    4. Where will the donated items go and to whom will they be distributed?
    "We are working in partnership with Synergy Services out of Parkville, Mo. They specialize in raising awareness and raising funds and other donations  for Kansas City's homeless youth.
    "We chose Synergy Services because they deal exclusively with youth homelessness. Synergy Services will then distribute locally to homeless youth."
    5. How do you think the event will impact the Scouts, and what do you hope they will take away from the experience?
    "We are hoping that they will develop a sense of what one homeless night feels like, realizing that unlike the homeless, they have the luxury of going home on Saturday to a warm, loving home.
    "We hope that after the outing they will think about those less fortunate long after the event has passed."
    Troop 173 has implemented some cold weather policies for the event. A weather call will be made Wednesday. Should the event be cancelled, Troop 173 will still accept donations until 2 p.m. Saturday and throughout January at First United Methodist.
    Anyone who wants to donate should call Hendrix at (913) 680-7146 and Troop 173 will make arrangements to pick items up.
    Items may also be dropped off at Troop 173 meetings, which take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday nights at the church.
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