Landrum area teens spent the night in this cardboard village outside of the First Baptist Church in Landrum to collect donated blankets and to raise awareness of homelessness. (photo by Anne Regan)

Teens build cardboard village, awareness of homelessness

Published 10:26pm Monday, January 21, 2013

Driving past the First Baptist Church of Landrum, Sunday evening, you would have seen the construction of a cardboard village on the front lawn.

The teens of the church decided to do a blanket collection for the homeless. Associate Pastor Mark Bishop wanted to take it a step further.

“From this idea it grew into a community awareness project,” he said.

Team leaders Lindsay Wilson, Nathan Scoggins and Jordan Bishop. (photos by Anne Regan)

Team leaders Lindsay Wilson, 16, Jordan Bishop, 15, and Nathan Scoggins, 15, all students at Landrum High School, coordinated this big undertaking.  With the enthusiasm only teenagers can generate this effort involved months of planning. Creating and delivering posters, getting huge cartons from Carruth Furniture, for housing, also designing ‘THANK YOU FOR DONATING’ cards with a candy Lifesaver attached took a lot of effort.

From 4 p.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday, the teens simulated what its like to be homeless.

“We’re sleeping in the boxes, keeping warm with blankets, building fires in 55 gallon drums and eating a supper of soup and water,” said Jordan Bishop.

The participating teens agreed to only have a cell phone for emergencies no other “tech stuff” said Lindsay Wilson.

Attending FBCL on Sunday for the first time, Michael Groce offered to play the guitar.

Monday morning they will go by church bus to the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen to deliver a blanket to each homeless person. Youth counselor Warren Ashmore said, “When contacting the soup kitchen about our project they told me this was a first. Getting teens not just to deliver blankets, but to hand them out is great.”

“Tonight is just one night for us, but this is all some of the homeless know,” Mark Bishop said. “What we don’t think about in our lives tomorrow you could very well keep someone alive.”

Student ministry members hope to make this an annual event. The church office will continue to accept items until the end of January. Contact the office at 864-457-4118.

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