Mac Phrommany: Box City 2015 Reflection

Happy 2016! As we look forward to the year ahead we'd like to share Mac Phrommany's reflection on the successful KSU Rotaract's Box City event last semester. The event raised over $800 with participation fees and donations. All money collected was donated to Manhattan Emergency Shelter and Charity Water.

Thank you to all of our speakers and to everyone who participated!
-KSU Rotaract

Friday October 2nd, I spent the night cold. My many layers of store bought defenses afforded me horribly inadequate protection from the night. As proud as I was of the cardboard palace we had constructed, its paper walls failed us under freezing winds. The great luxuries that my life had afforded me left me unprepared for the reality of homelessness. Our night aimed to replicate an experience, but our experience was a look into an absolute best case scenario. This glimpse into another world had readily available water, a backpack of food, and the assurance that this was was not permanent.

The next day, I was able to lay between my blankets and sheets in a heated apartment. I realized that my reality was not one I had earned or even deserved. It was given to me. Similarly, I concluded, homelessness isn’t a reality that is chosen, but it is a reality that is more than present in my community. I had the gift of being able to choose to spend the night in a box. Most people are not given an option. It is a reality that life cruelly thrust upon a person and says “deal with it.” 

Rotoractors, students, and community members alike chose to help by recognizing the reality of homelessness. Box homes of all forms were erected and occupied throughout the K-State quad 8 pm October 2nd, to 8 am October 3rd. This was done to bring to light the issue of homelessness in the area.  Local leaders were brought in to provide insight into just how prevalent the matter is. One Junction City mother brought her two high-school aged children, saying “I want them to be grateful for what they have.” While everyone had their own personal reasons for joining, an undeniable sense of community was created amongst our temporary homes. A sense of community and love for those persons in it that will last long after the rise and fall of our cardboard castles. 

Thank you to everyone that made the event possible.

-Mac Phrommany