GREENVILLE — Students at Greenville High School will host a movie night Saturday, February 17, in the school cafeteria. The film ‘The Sandlot’ will play at 4 p.m., followed by a second movie chosen by audience members.
In exchange for a ticket, the students are asking attendees to bring in a package of new socks, which will be donated to local nonprofit Community Action Partnership to benefit homeless people in the Greenville area.
Laura Fields and Taryn Cooper, age 18, came up with the idea for a movie night as part of a class project focusing on homelessness. As part of the assignment, they had to research their topic and write a paper on the issue, as well as organize and promote an event to raise awareness.
“We had to choose a policy or law to impact positively,” Cooper said. “We chose homelessness, because we learned that it’s actually illegal to sleep outside, in a public place.”
Cooper said that living in Greenville had shielded her somewhat from the reality of the struggles faced by homeless people..
“I grew up in a small town,” Cooper said. “So when I went to a bigger city and saw homeless people, I was blown away.”
Fields expressed similar sentiments, saying that even some adults may not realize the extent of the homeless problem in Darke County.
“We have a homeless shelter, and it is always full,” Fields said.
As previously reported by The Daily Advocate, Darke County’s homeless shelter housed 100 individuals in 2017, including 27 children. According to workers at Community Action Partnership, new residents typically move in as soon as a room is vacated by a previous tenant.
“We’d heard that socks are one of the most commonly requested items in homeless shelters,” Fields said of their chosen admission price for the event. “And socks aren’t too expensive, so it’s an easy way for kids our age to be able to get involved.”
Previous success motivated the girls to arrange a movie night for their event.
“Last year, another group did a movie night for their project,” Fields said. “And it was pretty successful.”
It was also important to do something that hadn’t been done a thousand times before, however, according to Cooper.
“We felt like people were getting tired of spirit weeks, where everyone wears a certain color on the same day or something,” Cooper said. “So we wanted to do something different.”
Arranging and choosing a date for the event involved a number of steps, Cooper said, including getting approval from their teacher and the school principal..
“We also had to check the athletic schedule, because we had to choose a date that didn’t conflict with that,” Cooper said. “But as it turns out, it’s really close to Valentine’s Day, so we hope it’s something couples might enjoy.”
In the end, according to Fields, this event gives them a chance to make the issue of homelessness hit close to home for Greenville residents.
“We wanted to show people that homelessness isn’t just a Cleveland problem or a Cincinnati problem,” Fields said. “It’s here in the Greenville area too.”
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