The students of Rochester College are passionate about serving the people around them. Started by students 10 years ago, Shack-a-thon is a fundraiser for local service organizations who are dedicated to helping housing poor and homeless friends in Oakland County. Rochester College students raise funds by participating in a 48-hour fast from amenities that are often taken for granted (heat, running water, etc) During the fast, students live outside in shacks made by their own hands and spend their time serving the homeless and the housing poor in the area.

“Homelessness is still around us, even if it’s not as visible as people sleeping in the street, such as you might see in a big city,” said Christopher Shields II, RC’s campus minister. “The students who participate have been blessed with stability in their lives. They truly don’t know what it’s like to be cold at night and hungry during the day…until now. It’s an exercise in humility, empathy, and it inspires service.”

shack1Two local charities are selected each year to be the beneficiaries of volunteer hours and funds raised (approximately $750 to date). This year, students will spend time volunteering at Baldwin Center’s coat closet and the Hope Warming Center. They will be organizing hygiene kits, helping with intake and sharing a meal with those at the centers. Both organizations are located in Pontiac, Mich.

To find out more about these organizations or to donate directly, please visit the links below: