I’m homeless...but just for the night. Tonight I will be sleeping on the streets of Durham to raise money for the homeless and those living under the poverty line in the CEO Sleepout, sponsored by United Way. I became involved after Matt Williamson of Windsor Circle made a passionate pitch to a group of CEOs to participate, and now 26 of us are hitting the streets.
As a father of three, and still very much a kid at heart, my personal interest lies with the children of the US. Once I decided to participate, I did a little research and found these dismal statistics:
- 1.6 million children in the US are homeless
- 40,000 children in North Carolina are homeless
- 18% of homeless children in North Carolina have at least one chronic condition
- 11% have asthma
- 12% have ADD and ADHD
Studies have shown that asthma and ADD/ADHD are directly impacted by the amount of sleep a child gets each night, and I doubt that study included children sleeping on pavement. Can you imagine going to school after spending the night on the street? Or trying to learn when you are starving? Could you contemplate dreading the summertime as a child because without school you no longer are guaranteed one meal a day?
I spend every day trying to improve the quality of care in our schools by enhancing the tools that are provided to healthcare professionals. My mission pales in comparison to the dedication that the people of the United Way and other charitable organizations put forth to help improve the health of children everywhere. I am looking forward to the event, the opportunity to give back, and not showering before coming to the office tomorrow so my co-workers can share in the experience.