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Jan 242014
 
Kids make the best of their cardboard "home" in 17 - 19 degree temperatures.

Kids make the best of their cardboard “home” in 17 – 19 degree temperatures.

Orange Congregational Church Pilgrim Fellowship Sr. Youth Group spent the night out in the cold for its annual fundraiser for Youth United of Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County this weekend, Friday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. through Saturday, Jan. 25 at 8 a.m.

The “Freeze Out” entails building a Shanty Town of cardboard boxes outside in front of the church, then staying inside the makeshift housing to experience living outside on a cold January night.

There were at least 16 teenagers and five adults who rotated in shifts throughout the night.

K-9 Officer Mike Kosh talks to some of the youth inside the church hall.

K-9 Officer Mike Kosh talks to some of the youth inside the church hall.

While some kids spent time outside, the other kids were in the warm church basement enjoying a full evening of activities and presentations.  Some of the activities included Orange Police Officer Mike Koch with his K-9 partner, Max; a guest speaker from Columbus House; and students from Sacred Heart University who talked about their Habitat for Humanity Mission Trip.

The purpose of this activity is two-fold:  1) to experience even for a short time what it would be like to be homeless and living out in the cold during winter and 2) to raise money for their Habitat for Humanity efforts. 

The teenagers have helped out with Habitat for Humanity for years – this year by raising enough money to start to work on a

This year's shanty town is sturdy and pretty roomy inside.

This year’s shanty town is sturdy and pretty roomy inside.

3rdYouth United house in Bridgeport.  Youth United Build involves youth from 5 to 25 years old. 

It gets very cold during those dark hours of the night so any positive reinforcement was welcome. Residents stopped by, dropped off treats, chatted with the kids about their experiences and shivered along with them. 

Jan 192013
 

Each year the shanty town evolves into roomier, more “comfortable” digs.

The Orange Congregational Church Pilgrim Fellowship Sr. Youth Group will hold a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County, Youth United.

At 6 p.m. tonight, Jan. 19 til 9 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 the group will build and sleep in a Shanty Town of cardboard boxes and “Freeze Out” outside the front of the church.

A minimum of 20 participants each will be asked to raise at least $35 in sponsorships for staying in the cardboard boxes in two hour shifts during the night.

The event will help raise awareness about Homelessness, Habitat for Humanity, and their impact on the community. The goal of the Freeze Out is to raise at least $2,500 and the funds donated will be used to help build another Youth United house in Fairfield County. After completing a residence on Jane Street in Bridgeport, the group is anxious to start the third Youth United Habitat home.

For more information, call Beth Rafferty at 203-795-9749 or e-mail her at bethpf@sbcglobal.net.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity visit http://blog.habitatcfc.org. Contributions are welcome and checks can be made out to ‘Habitat for Humanity of CFC/YU’ and mailed or hand delivered to Orange Congregational Church, 205 Meeting House Lane, Orange, CT 06477.

Don’t forget to stop by the Freeze Out and support your local youth.

Originally Published on: Jan 4, 2013 @ 5:44 a.m.

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