Last week, our own DJ Vallauri — Founder and President of Lodging Interactive — joined more than 750 executives in 14 cities throughout North America as part of the Covenant House 2014 Sleep Out to bring awareness and raise funds for homeless youth.
DJ was one of over 250 executives supporting the efforts of the Covenant House NY to assist the millions of homeless youth in the United States by sleeping out on the streets of NYC on November 20th. Participants were provided sleeping bags (or could bring their own) and slept on the ground using cardboard as a barrier from the cold. Temperatures sat in the 20’s throughout the night, making it difficult to sleep, but the night proved to be a life changing one for many involved.
“The experience was truly one I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Vallauri. “The stories I heard from some of the homeless youth were heartbreaking and tough to listen to. Makes you appreciate all you have and inspires you to support causes that work so hard to help others.”
Tweeting and sharing photos during the experience on Instagram, DJ admitted that he found it challenging throughout the night — even when armed with more layers and heavier outerwear than most homeless teens and youth that have to persevere these conditions night after night. The small glimpse of what homeless youth go through should be a wake up call for all to lend a hand.
The 2014 Covenant House Sleep Out raised over $5 million to “bring food, shelter, home, and hope to homeless youth across the U.S., Canada, and Latin America,” according to the Covenant House website.
The Lodging Interactive team is proud of DJ for supporting such a worthy cause as the Covenant House and hopes his involvement, and the involvement of thousands, will bring to light the needs of our homeless youth.
For over 40 years, Covenant House has been helping homeless youth across the US, Canada & Latin America. They provide more than food, clothing and shelter, they provide hope. Their programs include helping teenagers (including unwed parents with children) find a permanent residence, jobs and health insurance, giving them the ability to stand on their own two feet.