BETHEL — A youth group will spend a night in cardboard boxes and go hungry over the weekend to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger.

The 30 Hour Famine is put on by World Vision, a charitable Christian aid agency that specializes in anti-poverty efforts and disaster relief around the world, said Jim Rose, youth pastor at the Bethel Alliance Church. Sponsors will contribute donations to the local effort to go toward World Vision.

The fasting will begin Sunday after the church service and continue until 6 p.m. Monday. On Sunday evening, the group of 20 to 30 young people will spend the night on church property in cardboard boxes and sleeping bags.

“Sunday night’s going to be a bit of a reflective time,” Rose said.

He said 257 crosses would be set up on church property to represent the number of children in the world who die every half-hour from hunger.

On Monday, the group will offer free car washes at the church and
hold a bottle drive. Half of the proceeds will go to World Vision and
half to the youth group to sponsor other projects. The event will close with games and a 6 p.m. supper to break the fast, Rose said.

According to the World Vision Web site, it hopes to raise $12.5 million in 2009 and has raised $9.4 million to date.

Rose said the event was held five years ago but not since then. He hopes it will become an annual occurrence in cooperation with other local churches.

“It doesn’t take a lot for us to do something for somebody else,” he said.
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