Sleep in a Box: what to expect out of annual tradition


A great cause, a great time, a great memory. Interact’s Sleep-in-a-Box event is full of competitions and friendships that the students of Seaman High School look forward to each year.

Sleep-in-a-box is an event that Interact club has put on for the past couple of years with Seaman High School teacher, Mrs. Carrie Magette, helping begin the event in 2010. The whole idea of Sleep-in-a-Box is to bring awareness to students about homelessness not just in the world, but in our city specifically. Mr. Tim Collins, sponsor, explained that Sleep-in-a-Box donations all go to charities in Topeka.

“We donate money to The Topeka Rescue Mission, P.A.N.T (Pet Assistance Network of Topeka), and Topeka North Outreach. We also donate canned goods and toiletries to Topeka North Outreach and The Topeka Rescue mission,” Collins said.

There will be speakers from these charities at Sleep-in-a-Box telling about the charity’s purpose in the community. Collins expects that students will represent Seaman High School well as students donate to the cause as well as take the importance of the event in as speakers explain the significance of what the community needs to do to assist the homeless.

When students arrive at sleep in a box, they must give up their items that are not necessities in life. If they wish to bring anything except the clothes on their body, they must bring a certain number of cans.

“Let’s say you’re allowed to have a shirt, pants, and shoes, but if you want to have a cell phone, then you have to pay a certain number of cans. The same goes for a pillow, blanket, or anything that is not a necessity,” Collins explained.

Interact will be providing food for students who are participating, so students will also not be allowed to bring in outside food or drink to keep the simulation of being homeless as realistic as possible.

Along with not being able to bring non-necessities, there will be rules in place to keep the event organized and maintain fun.

“Obviously when you bring a bunch of human beings together, you have to have rules. At a predetermined part of the night, females and males are separated and they have to sleep in separate areas; students have to participate in the activities, and students must follow the necessary guidelines put in place,” Collins said.

While at sleep in a box, students will participate in different activities that include building their own box house on the track and football field, egg races, sack races, capture the flag, dumpster diving, and watching a movie. The competition students buzz about for the weeks before and after Sleep-in-a-Box is the actual building of their box houses simulating having to make shelter and having an idea of what the homeless go through.

“There’s a great deal of comradery, a great deal of fun. Where students get to hang with their friends, but it’s for a good cause. There’s all this fun that’s happening, but at the same time there’s moments when the speakers talk about the fact that there’s so many homeless people, and there’s individuals your age that are homeless,” Collins explained.

Interact began to plan Sleep-in-a-Box over the summer and have met as school began, to set an itinerary and structure the event. As a group, they have decided to make their objective that this year’s sleep in a box will be the best one yet.

“Our objective this year is that this is the best sleep in a box ever. That’s a tall order because in the past we’ve had groups that have put together elaborate shacks, such as the giant ship that they had, and a rubix cube last year. That’s fantastic and wonderful, but I think we can put together an evening that accomplishes the mission of raising awareness and at the same time creating fun for the students of Seaman High School,” Collins explained.

Sleep-in-a-Box will take place on Sept. 30 and will bring students together for a time of fun and learning. It will be an event that will be in the memories of students at Seaman High School for the rest of their lives.