This is a guest blog post written by Ray Racine, Senior Control Systems Engineer at Hallam-ICS. It was first published on their blog.
On Thursday, March 23, six of our Hallam-ICS crew slept out for Spectrum. Donna Aiken, Annette Delphia, Dylan Kerkes, Keith Flaherty, Dan Maxwell and myself “braved the elements” for this great cause. Wednesday night got down to about 5 degrees (F); so 25 degrees on Thursday night was a blessing indeed.
Spectrum is a local organization focused on helping homeless teens and young adults. From a safe place to sleep, to counseling, to basic medical care; this fantastic group is dedicated to helping youth turn troubled lives around and grow into healthy, independent adults.
It is sobering to consider that in a small place like Vermont, this group serves over 2,000 young adults a year in the Burlington area. That’s 2,000 kids in really bad situations that Spectrum helps.
This was year six for their Sleep Out, which is one of their major fundraisers. The event raised over $347,000. Our team members were able to raise just over $7,000, which Hallam-ICS matched. That made our contribution over $14,000.
So how does the Sleep Out work? We arrived at the rally point around 9PM. Pizza, soda, and coffee were served by local businesses. (Coffee, are you kidding me? I don’t want to have to get out of my sleeping bag until morning.) Mark, the director of Spectrum, gave a great pep talk. Everybody introduced themselves and their group affiliation. Then, one of the young people that has recently stepped into good, full-time, work—after a rough patch—gave her personal story of Spectrum. Really reminded everybody why they were there. Then, off to the outdoors.
We had a couple of feet of snow recently; so our sleeping area was nice and crunchy. Vermont Tent set up two big canopies (tents with no sides) and laid tarps on the ground. Everyone spread out to stake their spot. Cardboard as a ground mat provided insulation from the ice beneath the big tarps.
How did we sleep? Funny you should ask.
I run pretty warm; so I did not suffer from the cold—that was, until I rolled off of my matt and started melting ice. But, between the symphony of snoring, the crunching of ice underfoot, and the hourly ringing of the church bells, sleep was scarce. However cheer was in great abundance.
Thanks to the team, the employee-owners of Hallam-ICS, & our sponsors for helping to make this event so successful!