Volunteers with Queen’s Project On International Development (QPID) will be outside Stauffer Library for five days in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the Kingston Youth Shelter (KYS).
Specifically, the student run organization is aiming to raise $10,000 through its Collecting With QPID fundraising project an event set for March 6-10, with volunteers taking shifts stationed in the busy area trying to engage and raise funds from students, teachers, and anyone else who passes.
QPID Campus and Community Director Shannon Smithwick says leading up to this the team of student volunteers has run some on campus awareness and education campaigns including visits from KYS representatives.
While volunteers aren’t exactly looking forward to standing in the cold, Smithwick says they hope the comparatively short outdoor shifts home the point of how bad being on the streets can be.
“It’s really cold but we hope that that also demonstrates our point even more,” Smithwick said.
“People experiencing homelessness don’t really have a choice.”
In addition to the main one week campaign, QPID has reached out to local businesses in an effort to try to hit their funding goal, which before COVID neared $15,000.
She says the campaign also sometimes sees a boost thanks to some students benefiting from more financial privilege.
“Queen’s very clearly has a lot of privilege, a lot of students with a lot of money but there are a lot of students who don’t,” Smithwick said.
“A lot of the students with a lot of money we find are very generous.”
The campaign is well received and most students try to make a donation of some kind if they can, Smithwick says.
She says she thinks the close proximity of the youth center, which has even used Queen’s Mac Brown Hall as a temporary space, and the closeness of age of KYS’ clients makes the cause feel close to home for a lot of students.
“People also know that they’re making actual, tangible change in their community when we remind them that the youth shelter is so close,” Smithwick said.
“I think there’s a little bit of a peer compassion.”
100% of funds raise during the week of March 6-10 will be donated to the youth shelter.