Students Stay in Cardboard Houses to Give Others a Real House

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Grand Island Central Catholic students decided to spend the night outside. Not in tents, but in cardboard houses.

"We're spending the night from 5:30 is when we're starting to build to around 7:30 in the morning," said junior Alex Webb.

"It's going to be cold and we're all wearing layers, we've got millions of blankets," said junior Mariah Woodward.

The Spanish classes are raising money with their cardboard city and other fundraisers to work toward ending poverty and homelessness.

"The money is going to Champions for the Poor," said Webb. "You give $3,700 and it goes to a family and they build a complete house for them in El Salvador."

Woodward says a cardboard house isn't just symbolic of their mission.

"This is what people live in, not the houses with heating and stuff we have, they live in shacks with metal they just find on the streets," she said.

After 14 hours in their flimsy shelters, the cardboard houses came down.

The students said it was eye-opening and hard, especially knowing the school building and warm beds were not far away.

"[Quitting] was definitely an option for all of us, but I think we just toughed it out and wanted to be out here," said junior Jeremy Scarrow.

But Woodward says the people they're building a house for don't have the option to go home the next day.

"We're sitting in a box that has nothing, you bring blankets from home and some of those people don't even have blankets, they find stuff on the street," she said. "You just realize really what you have and what they don't have."

"It makes a huge difference, you don't even think about it until you actually walk in their footsteps," said Scarrow.

You can help the students reach their $3,700 goal by donating on the website - once there, search for Grand Island Central Catholic. Or visit the GICC website or click in the links in the sidebox.