Students Spend the Night at Shantytown

The TCHS Interact Club attended the 2nd annual ‘Shantytown’ hosted by San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Written by SABRINA FANG / Published March 23, 2012

On March 3, the Temple City High School Interact Club attended the 2nd annual ‘Shantytown’ at La Salle High School to raise money and awareness for the growing world poverty rates.

Shantytown, hosted by the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity organization, was a fundraising event where participants built and spent the night in their own cardboard houses.

Participants were able to experience the state of homelessness on a smaller scale for a single night. This event was meant to educate students on growing poverty rates and what they can do to help.

“I found out about Shantytown through a youth service coordinator from Habitat for Humanity,” said Interact Club President Betty Wang. “Since most of my club members were not old enough to start building homes, he introduced me to this great event.”

At the start of the event, Temple City students were able to relax and take part in the event’s lively atmosphere. They played games with other participants, enjoyed eating food provided by food trucks, and bonded with their fellow club members.

Building their own shelters, however, served as a challenge. They had to build cardboard homes that were able to sustain harsh weather and temperature conditions.

When the time came to sleep in their cardboard homes, many people found the conditions difficult to withstand. They had trouble adjusting from sleeping in a warm, comfortable bed to sleeping on the hard ground in the cold.

“Sleeping in cardboard boxes was dreadful,” said Freshman Man-Kit Tsay. “It was freezing cold, noisy, and uncomfortable.”

The Temple City Interact Club found the event to be a fun, learning experience that allowed them to bond with their fellow club members and make new friends.

“This experience opened new doors for me as a person,” said Interact Club President Betty Wang, “and has made me even more eager to start helping families without homes through Habitat.”

Habitat for Humanity, which led the event for Interact Club, is a non-profit organization that recruits volunteers to build decent, affordable homes for families in need of proper housing.

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