For many years, students in the middle school have participated in Project Empathy, but those who have not been involved might not have the knowledge of what it actually is. Project Empathy is a once a year, overnight event that All Saints’ middle schoolers can participate in that demonstrates what a homeless person’s life is like for 24 hours. During this period of 24 hours, participants fast, sleep outside on the cold ground, listen to accounts of people who have been homeless, and try to make it through class and sports while still feeling hunger. It occurs around every mid-February and has been around for about 8 years. It has changed the perspectives of many students and it has changed how some view the world.
For me personally, it has been a life changing experience. Each time I participated in Project Empathy I learned a life lesson. The first year when we slept outside it got so cold that I couldn’t go to sleep. I learned that people who are homeless have to go through that same experience every night and they don’t have a warm bed to look forward to sleeping in. Then this year I was listening to a man who had to live on the streets for over 20 years and he said to imagine all the stuff in your room and then imagine all of it gone. He told us that that is how most homeless people have to live. The lesson I learned from all of this is to never take anything for granted because one day it could all be gone.