The 11th annual Cardboard City – June 22nd-23rd at the Alaska State Fairgrounds was a success! Thanks to everyone who slept out to help knock out homelessness in our Valley. It was a night to raise awareness, as well as money, to help local families with kids get back into permanent housing.
The event was a fundraiser for Family Promise Mat-Su, a local non profit agency here in the Valley who’s mission is to help homeless families with children get back on their feet. They are a local chapter of the national Family Promise network and one of the few agencies that help the entire family unit stay together through a combined effort of various community partners. The average family stays in the program for 45-60 days before becoming able to manage on their own. The program boasts a 70% success rate, which proves that your donations are being put to good use.
Michael Carson from My House Mat-Su had a very creative cardboard home, as did many of the nights guests.
This was our 10th year sleeping out with them, and like usual… it rained. Even with the rain, spirits were high. Approximately 25 cardboard homes were constructed and over $5000 was raised by participants!
The Mat-Su Home Builders not only helped sponsor this years event, they provided judges for the annual “Parade of Cardboard Homes”, helping give prizes for different categories like Most Inspirational and Best Use of Duct Tape among others. The Extreme Fun Center offered the grand prize of a party for 8 for the Biggest Impact, which went to the Sunny Knik Chapel Subdivision kids. Alaska Chicks also donated items to make sure every child had something to go home with.
Local duo Long Nights Moon provided dinner music and played while participants built their dwellings for the night, and local entertainer Hilary Saffran read the kids bedtime stories provided by Fireside Books in Palmer.
Thanks to the Mat-Su Home Builders Association and All About Herbs for sponsoring the event this year, plus all of the generous donations from the community. Special thanks to Lowe’s Wasilla for supplying the definitely needed tarps and duct tape. Alaskan Glacier Water for donating the bottled water as well as the soups from Vagabond Blues, Red Beet and Turkey Red and breads from House of Bread and North Star Bakery for the soup kitchen.
After a night where not only did it rain, but the temperatures dropped into the lower 40’s, those who slept out had a true appreciation for what they have. I personally was very grateful for my warm, comfortable bed that I crawled into upon arriving home and thankful for the friends that participated in the event with me.