Kiwanis Club Holds “Sleep Out” to Raise Awareness and Funds for Covenant House

Throughout the month of November, communities come together to Sleep Out and amplify a shared message: it's time to end youth homelessness.

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Members of Kiwanis join the group that participated in "Sleep Out" on Friday night, November 25








PARSIPPANY — It was forty-five degrees outside, but a dozen individuals from ages 12½ to 50 weathered the outside and slept on the concrete at Parsippany United Methodist Church to learn firsthand what homeless youths experience every night. The group identified themselves as “Covenant House Sleep Out 2022 – Team G.R.A.C.E.” The group was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany.

Team G.R.A.C.E. raised over $1,000 which is directly donated to the Covenant House.

There’s more to Sleep Out than a night without a bed. Sleep Out raises critical funds to help Covenant House provide 24/7 shelter, sanctuary, and support to youth overcoming homelessness.

And the experience includes opportunities to learn from experts, hear inspiring stories, and advocate for a future where everyone has a safe place to sleep.

The NJ Kiwanis District will advocate raising awareness of youth homeless as an issue throughout New Jersey in the 2022-2023 Kiwanis Service year.

When Diana McElroy contacted NJ Kiwanis Lt. Governor Division 9, Frank Cahill, Cahill immediately got involved with the project since it was a Kiwanis initiative for 2022-2023. It became a project of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany. “I was happy to get involved and bring this wonderful program to Parsippany. Although this year was small, Kiwanis Club plans to expand this in the near future,” said Cahill.

“Imagine sleeping outside on a cold blistery night like tonight – it’s almost imaginable to many of us. However, many youth and adults across the state are facing the chilling effects of homeless,” said Martin Slezak.

“After two years of research and feedback on a District Project, members of the organization voted to raise awareness for Youth Homelessness as a District-wide service project this year.  Our organization, made the right choice to assist in raising awareness and funds for Youth Homelessness organizations throughout the state of NJ,” Slezak states, “Kiwanis has partnered with many organizations throughout the state (Visions and Pathways, Oceans Harbor House, Family First, Covenant House, among others) to help raise awareness and funds for this worthy cause.” “We look forward to making an impact in the communities we serve.”

Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilman Justin Musella, who attended the Sleep Out to give his support, said “I was honored to come out and support Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany in participating in Covenant House’s “Sleep Out” to help those in need.”

Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany President Nicolas Limanov said “The Sleep Out helps ensure that youth facing homelessness can sleep safely and dream big at Covenant House. Covenant House is more than just a shelter. Young people are welcomed with unconditional love and provided warm meals, education opportunities, job training, medical care, mental health and substance use counseling, and legal aid — essential services designed to help them build independent futures. Just recently I had the honor of visiting Covenant House in Atlantic City with Former Kiwanis District Governor Gordon Meth and Lt. Governor Frank Cahill as we donated winter jackets.”

Parsippany-Troy Hills Sargent Dan Conte kept a watch on the group throughout the evening.

November is Youth Homelessness Awareness Month. Covenant House invites you to join the fight to achieve a world where every young person has access to safe housing, support, healing, and opportunity.

Throughout the month of November, communities come together to Sleep Out and amplify a shared message: it’s time to end youth homelessness.

Every night, about 2,000 young people will go to sleep in a Covenant House bed.

You can still donate to Team G.R.A.C.E. by clicking here.

Also attending were Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany member, Susan Slaughter, President Nicolas Limanov, Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilman Justin Musella, Parsippany-Troy Hills Sargent Dan Conte, NJ District Lt. Governor Division 9 Frank Cahill, NJ Division Kiwanis International Treasurer Martin Slezak, Parsippany United Methodist Church Rev. Marissa van der Valk, and Kirsten Corley, Senior Development Associate at Covenant House New Jersey.

TEAM G.R.A.C.E. during “Sleep out 2022 for Covenant House”
TEAM G.R.A.C.E. during “Sleep out 2022 for Covenant House”
TEAM G.R.A.C.E. during “Sleep out 2022 for Covenant House”
Making of the sign to be displayed on the location
Parsippany United Methodist Church was the site chosen by Kiwanis Lt. Governor Division 9 Frank Cahill to hold the Sleep Out
The morning after. Everyone returned home to a warm home and had a hearty breakfast prepared by Parent Leader Diana McElroy