Camping out vs. Homeless

Camping out when I was a kid was fun, it was a feeling of freedom, adventure and excitement. We were roughing it, or so we thought, you know sleeping on the ground in a tent, no tv, no radio (batteries were down on the transistor) and we got to choose what time we went to sleep and got up. The freedom was false as all night we could see the silhouette of my dad standing guard to protect us or maybe more so the neighbor hood. If it rained the campout was over even though we had a tent mom would not allow us to be victims of the elements. Food was never a problem it was provided by the homesteaders who occupied this land. Of course it also gave us an adventure to talk about with our classmates as we had to scare away some of the creatures of the night, a stray dog or cat and once in a while a bloodthirsty vampire rabbit. Tonight they will hold the 3rd annual "Reggies Sleep Out" in our city to raise funds to help those homeless folks in need. It stems from the tragic death of a homeless young man, Reggie Kelsey, in Des Moines who had been turned out of the system and was desperately trying to find his place in life but lacked the help he needed and the knowledge of where to find it if it existed at all. It is his tragic life that inspired the development of a more significant after care system for those who have been turned out on their own. My camping was fun, but for many others it is a matter of survival. We have a chance to be that silhouette in the window helping to watch over them. Please contribute to 'Reggies Sleepout", several hundred families will join together tonight in that effort and even if you're not tempted to rough it overnight you can still participate in the evenings activities and donate. It will be held at the Cyclone Sports Complex beginning at 5 pm, Food, contests, entertainment and fun under the stars benefiting those that work with homeless youth...YSS, ACCESS, The EMERGENCY HOMELESS PROJECT

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