Vancouver – Without access to shelter, money or showers, a group of Sauder School of Business students have spent March 9 to 14 on the University of British Columbia campus experiencing what it's like to be homeless, as part of the national "5 Days for the Homeless" fundraiser. The Sauder participants are: Andrew Pederson, Boris Remes, Calvin Chan, Conor Topley, Tyler Murphy, Paul Aulakh, Davies Town, and Yooji Cummings.
The aim of the initiative is to raise money and awareness of homelessness, with proceeds from the Sauder fundraiser going to Vancouver Covenant House, a Vancouver agency that offers a full range of programs and services specific to the needs of homeless youth.
Just like many of the homeless in Greater Vancouver, the Sauder students have slept outdoors, their only nourishment coming from those who have donated meals to them. As part of their commitment to the 5 Days fundraiser, they remained on campus the entire week, attended all their classes and maintained employment and extracurricular activities.
Homelessness is a reality for an estimated 33,000 Canadians, and about one-third of these people are youth.
The 5 Days campaign, which was first run in 2006, was created by three University of Alberta business students as a way to support the disadvantaged and help change public perceptions of business students. This is the first year business students from other universities, including the Sauder School, are taking part in the event.
The Sauder group is sharing their experiences on the 5 Days for the Homeless blog.
As the Commerce Undergraduate Society at Sauder will be subsidizing all costs for this campaign, 100% of the proceeds generated will be donated to Covenant House. The participants hope to raise $10,000 by the conclusion of the 5 days with the help of students, faculty, and the business community – and are currently looking for a matching sponsor. For more information about 5 Days for the Homeless, please visit www.5days.ca/vancouver. Online donations can be made by credit card directly on the site.