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Bart Tilly shares his thoughts on a cold "Night in a Box" for the homeless

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Bart Tilly, center

In case you were wondering what it was like for civic leaders  who spent last Friday night sleeping in cardboard boxes in South Wenatchee to better understand the plight of the homeless, I asked Bart Tilly, a board member of Lighthouse Ministries, to send me his thoughts on the experience.

Here is his report:

“The Night In A Box event was a huge success on many levels.  From my vantage point its most important success metric was the community-wide involvement.  It wasn’t a specific service club, government agency, church or corporation that made this event happen.  
Instead, this event saw a blurring of the organizational and cultural lines.  Uniforms were traded in for down jackets and wool hats.  Nice homes were exchanged for simple cardboard structures.  

We were all physically cold and in many cases chilled to the bone.  At the same time, the warmth from the community kept everyone’s spirits high as we couldn’t help but know that we were part of something special. “It is times like these when I am reminded of how blessed we all are to call Wenatchee home.  Through the Night In A Box event our community demonstrated outstanding charter traits such as selflessness, compassion and an attitude of service for the people in our society that are often easy to overlook.

By participating in this event we all did our part to take steps closer to our neighbors who are less fortunate.  Wenatchee isn’t perfect, but clearly demonstrated that we know how to love others.  This gift of love is overwhelming to say the least.

I am already hearing comments about next year’s event.  Many people want to know what we are going to do for an encore.  Who knows...maybe we can put in a request for some snow!”
This is a community that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Why would a person choose to live anywhere else.

 Effort to aid homeless Chelan family started

The folks at Give Naked, a Chelan group raising money to help local causes, is currently helping a homeless family. Here's the scoop from their newsletter:

"Our current Give is for a single mom who has been living in a local motel and couch surfing with her young son. She can afford $800 a month in rent. But through this time of homelessness, she has lost everything. She has no pots to cook with and no beds, let alone sheets and blankets to cover them. We are raising $450 to help her get back on her feet."

Correcting an error in Tuesday's column.
In Tuesday’s column, there was an error that needs to be corrected. Richardson told me that 20 percent of the adult population in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties have bachelor’s degrees, compared with 32 percent statewide. Thanks to alert reader Mark Higbee for pointing out the error.