Over 100 students sleep out for the homeless
The Belvedere College SJ annual Sleep-Out for the homeless has gone virtual for the second year running with over 110 students taking part sleeping in their back gardens. The boys first slept out on Saturday night, 4 December 2021, raising over €25,000 for three homeless charities – Peter McVerry Trust, Focus Ireland and Home Again. They gathered for Mass in the school chapel with Fr Peter McVerry SJ on Friday 17 December, before sleeping out again on Saturday 18 December. Pádraig Swan, Director of Faith and Service Programmes at Belvedere, reports on the event so far:
“The 2021 Sleep-Out campaign continues with great generosity of spirit and support on behalf of our 3 homeless charities. After the second sleep out on Saturday last, December 18th, the total raised is now over €68,000.
We continue to bring awareness and focus to the work of Peter McVerry Trust, Focus Ireland and Home Again during this week when we are normally on the streets of Dublin making our presence felt every December 22nd, 23rd and 24th.
Even though we can’t be there this year due to Covid-19, please support us as generously as you can by donating at Sleep-Out Dublin ». Or click here to set up your own Sleep-Out fundraising page ».
Fr Peter McVerry celebrated Mass with our Sleep-Out team last Friday and one of his key messages to all involved was ‘that by your actions, doing Sleep-Out, you are showing homeless people that they are not forgotten by society and they are loved as every human being should be.'”
In an interview with Dublin People newspaper, Sixth Year students Dylan Jones and Devin Synnott express their concern about not being as visible this year:
“We usually sleep out under the GPO for the nights of the 22nd and 23rd of December.” But the students note that since this is not possible due to Covid-19, “we are asking people to please support us when they see us out collecting.”
They continue: “All the funds raised throughout the days of the Sleep-Out go directly to our three charities who are fighting against homelessness in Ireland.”
Dylan and Devin report that the Jesuit ethos of being ‘people for others’ inspired the boys in Belvedere to help others as best they can. Finally, they say:
“Last year, with the ever-reliable support of the public, Sleepout20 raised a total of €114,000 [over €125,000 was finally collected] and despite everything going on, we hope to top that with Sleepout2021.”