Iron Range Youth in Action (IRYA) students from four schools raised $3,000, which will be divided among four area charities.
In all, 36 students representing four schools - Mesabi East, Cherry, South Ridge and Virginia - spent all or at least a few hours of the overnight from November 21 to 22 outdoors with only a cardboard box for shelter. Each student had to collect a minimum of $40 in pledges in order to participate. The event was held in connection with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
Students set up their makeshift cardboard box city near the Biwabik Park Pavilion. The evening included education and discussion about homelessness; building awareness and dispelling myths about people who are homeless. Students also made polar fleece blankets, which will be donated.
Organizations benefiting from the students' work include the United Way's Buddy Backpack program; Project Elf at Mesabi East School; the Salvation Army; and Bill's House, a shelter in Virginia.