Live-blogging #SleepOutSaturday


Yeah, I know SOS is long-since done, but it occurred to me that I completely failed to say something extremely important:

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to our wonderful adult volunteers, Troy, Karen, Larry, Nikole, Christine, Deonne, and Kathy! This event is only possible because of you. 


Wakey, wakey!



Our first two young people are up. “Anyone else awake?”

“Nope, you’re the first.”

“Well, I can’t go back to sleep. Can I sit by the fire with you?”

Of course!

I’m very pleasantly surprised that all the youth have stayed out all night. Not even the usual steady stream of bathroom breaks. Been a quiet couple hours. 

Our faithful leaders, keeping the fire burning and watching over the flock. 



Larry is officially our safety officer. He will also not be cold. 


12:08am, Sunday

After one last empathy-building activity wherein we read stories from families helped by Bridge along with facts about poverty and homelessness in DuPage, it’s time to enter our shelters and try to sleep. 

 Also, it is now officially Cassie’s birthday!


Box shelter creation time!



We watched a video from the Rally as well as a Naperville TV 17 video report on SOS. I’ll try to add those in later. 

The cookies were shared by all! Well, ok, so the cookie winners allotted each person one cookie. 


No surprise, the group with the most resources won the competition. No groups shared materials, but no groups asked for help either. The winners’ prize?

A huge plate of homemade cookies. To which a member of one of the other groups replied, “That’s bogus!”

Next activity: build a structure with materials provided. Prize for the one that is tallest, most structurally sound, and colorful. 

What the group discovered is that not all groups are resourced equally. 

Will any group share? Will any group ask for help?



Final products:



Back at church — thanks, Bus Driver Cheryl! We’re in small groups sharing what from the Rally surprised and inspired us. 


School of Rock sends us out with a little “Cherry Bomb.”

Would have liked a little more content from the Rally. For instance more about services Bridge provides. 

This may qualify me for “get off my lawn” status, but I truly don’t understand all the people here at the Rally paying absolutely zero attention to the speakers. Sure, the mic is a little hard to hear, but come on!

The other family from the video now on stage. Mom and 5 yo son became homeless when she left her abusive husband. 

We get to meet in person one of the families from the video. Mom, 7yo daughter and daughter who is a freshman in college. A reality made possible by Bridge’s work.  


Video  sharing the stories of some of the families helped by Bridge. They house 100 families every year. 


The obligatory — though certainly crowd-pleasing — shout out to all the communities represented here tonight. Hsu’s daughter very cutely pronounced ours Woodwidge. 


Tonight’s MC, Judy Hsu from local ABC Channel 7 begins the heart of the Rally…by telling us the weather forecast for the morning. Ugh. To paraphrase everyone’s favorite scoundrel, “never tell me the temperature.”

Hsu skipped the local Emmys to be at the Rally. That’s pretty cool. Remember, every $35 donation to Bridge Communities provides a night of shelter for a family. 


Gracious, holy, and loving God, give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts open to the movement of your Spirit through all we encounter tonight, amen. 

We enter the Rally to School of Rock Glen Ellyn absolutely (ahem) killing it with a Rage Against the Machine cover. They followed that with another terrific ’90’s tune, No Doubt’s “Just a Girl.”

And, of course, we got our tshirts. Everybody loves free tshirts. 


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