Queen’s Project on International Development (QPID) aims to raise $10,000 at its annual fundraiser for the Kingston Youth Shelter.
With a big tent, signs, and brightly colored shirts, QPID members will be stationed on the corner of University and Union St. on March 6 to 10 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event, Collecting with QPID (CWQ), asks students to give a small donation to support the Shelter, either by cash or card.
100 per cent of donations go to the Kingston Youth Shelter, which has partnered with QPID for the past fifteen years. The center offers an emergency shelter for the short term and a transitional shelter for the long term.
The organization launched CWQ three years ago. They’ve partnered with Kingston Youth Shelter for over 15 years and previously ran a similar campaign called Five Days for The Homeless.
“Some of the [Kingston Youth Shelter] staff are really invested in this campaign, too. They’re really excited—it’s a positive feedback loop,” Shannon Smithwick, ArtSci ’23 and QPID’s campus and community director, said in an interview with The Journal.
Smithwick said the team loves re-establishing a connection with the shelter and sees tangible differences in the shelter with their donations.
Kingston Youth Shelter is located at 234 Brock St., a ten-minute walk from Stauffer Library. MacGillivray-Brown Hall on Queen’s campus serves as an emergency home for the shelter as well.
“They are literally on campus, and nobody knows about them. It’s one of those things—this issue is so real for people right here,” Smithwick said. “It’s almost like students can’t even fathom not having a home […] Please think about people other than yourself.”
The issues underpinning homelessness—racism, sexism, and access to education—are something many can relate to, she said.
According to Smithwick, the center is growing as demand for homeless shelters in Kingston has increased. According to QPID’s website, 42 per cent of the homeless population was between the ages of 0 to 24, in 2018.
“They don’t deny people because they know that people are struggling,” Smithwick said.
“They’re very aware of the forces working against [homeless youth], and so they try and support them.”
Besides student donations, QPID’s fundraising team reaches out to companies for corporate sponsorship. In the past they’ve raised $15,000, Smithwick said.
QPID also sends ten interns on international projects and separately fundraises for those trips. They work with local high schools to educate to raise awareness and hold conferences around topics like natural disasters and sustainable agriculture.
Club, Fundraiser, Kingston Youth Shelter, QPID
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