"There is no rain date. This is going on, rain or shine. People who are homeless don't get a rain date, so we won't either," said Bloomfield Cloverleaves cardboard box city co-organizer Amy Welch, speaking of the local 4-H club's upcoming fundraiser slated for Friday, May 17, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Spring Valley.

Members of the Bloomfield Cloverleaves will build a cardboard box city and stay there for a night as a fundraiser for the local food shelf and for the back to school supply collection held each summer for Kingsland students.

"The cardboard box city is one of the elements of our club's community pride project, which is where we do volunteer projects for our community," said Welch. "It is being held to help raise awareness of homelessness and raising funds for the food shelf and back to school program - the food shelf and back to school supply collection are important because they help provide support for families in our community, and the city will raise awareness by actually showing how people who are homeless and can't afford things to really live, even if it is just for one night. The money is being raised through the funds raised by the groups that are participating."

Since they're gathered on the church lawn, the 4-Hers will keep busy with games and welcoming visitors to their city as there are activities planned throughout the night. They plan on having a scavenger hunt, lawn games, and information about homelessness. Some of the activities are just for the groups participating, but the public is welcome to look through the cardboard box city until 10 p.m. and see the different houses the participants have built.

Organizing the city has taken about two months, and the club has invited other youth organizations to join them as they sleep under the stars or the raindrops. They have contacted area church youth groups, school groups and local Boy and Girl Scout troops, Welch related, noting that Cloverleaves from kindergarten through 12th grade will be participating, along with their adult leaders. Welch has never participated in building and sleeping in a box city, but her fellow club members have and recommended it as a community pride project because of the lessons that come from the challenges participants face while trying to sleep through a night on the ground.

"There might be some challenges, like if it rains...the boxes aren't waterproof," she said. "Groups also have to construct their own structures. And we do need boxes to sleep in. We are only asking groups who chose to participate to bring their own boxes."

The Bloomfield Cloverleaves 4-H Club will build its cardboard box city on the yard at Our Savior's Lutheran Church on South Broadway in Spring Valley, beginning with team registration and house construction the afternoon of Friday, May 17, remaining there until the next morning, rain or shine, at which point they'll pack up their belongings and move on, just like people with no home would do.

"We hope that people will understand that not everyone is as fortunate as us to have a home and other things," said Welch.