Students camp out for hunger

The Penn State Berks Office of Campus Life will host the college's fourth annual Camp Out for Hunger, an event designed to bring awareness to homelessness in Berks County, on Friday, April 19, 2013, beginning at 9 p.m. This event is for students only; it is not open to the public.

During this event, students will camp outside on campus overnight. The college is hosting a fundraising project in conjunction with the Coalition to End Homelessness in Berks County. Members of the Coalition will be in attendance to commemorate the event.

"Four years ago, national statistics showed that Berks County, specifically the Reading area, had one of the highest populations of citizens who were homeless or living below the poverty line. Students at Penn State Berks were troubled by these statistics and wanted to help," explains Student Activities Coordinator Kelli Meyer.

"In its fourth year, the Penn State Berks Camp Out for Hunger event raises awareness, along with money, and collects non-perishable goods for the Berks Coalition to End Homelessness. The Coalition consists of over 60 local businesses and organizations, including the Berks Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, and the United Way, that have joined forces to fight for this cause."

Last year, Berks Cares collected 267 pounds of nonperishable goods and collected $515 from the campus community and local businesses. This year, the committee has set a goal of raising $1,000 and collecting 500 pounds of nonperishable goods to donate to the 60 local charitable organizations that comprise the Coalition to End Homelessness. The committee, consisting of students, faculty, and staff, is collecting monetary donations and various items including nonperishable goods, personal hygiene products, and gently used clothing.

Additionally, the students are seeking the support of local businesses to help sponsor the event by donating gift certificates and other items. The business donations will be raffled at the conclusion of the Camp Out event. All proceeds will go to the Coalition to disburse among the associated organizations.

For more information or to make a donation, contact Kelli Meyer, Student Activities Coordinator, at 610-396-6068 or via e-mail at [email protected].