Could you spend 49 consecutive winter nights outside in a cardboard box? Carrie Sewald-Hester, a veterinary technician student at MSB-Plymouth, has watched her three daughters brave the elements the last 46 nights to raise funds for poverty stricken families in the Twin Cities.
The three girls – Debra (11), Danielle (9) and Savanah (3) – have been sleeping outside in a cardboard box on the family’s porch since Nov. 4. They will continue to do so until Christmas Eve.
The fundraising effort started as a one-night effort with the Messiah United Methodist youth group to help support the Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners annual Sleep Out.
“Our church usually does the annual Sleep Out with [IOCP], but the girls thought that they could do more,” Sewald-Hester said.
The girls decided to extend their stay outside to see how much money they could raise. They set their initial goal at $100, but that mark nearly tripled in a matter of days.
The goal was then pushed to $500.
After deciding to brave the elements until Christmas Eve, the girls have raised $2,415 on their personal fundraising page. That doesn’t include checks they’ve received, said Sewald-Hester.
“Donations have been coming in from all over the United States,” Sewald-Hester said. “We recently received one from the Virgin Islands.”
A mild winter has helped the girls’ cause.
“Savanah has only been inside three nights,” Sewald-Hester said. “My nightly prayer will be that every year is like this one.”
For more coverage on the family, check out the links below:
WCCO story and video
KSTP story and video
Minnesota Sun Sailor story
Lake Minnetonka Patch story