‘Sleepout’ helps local homeless

By Bria Arseneault, The Point (Fitchburg State University)

“Sleepout for the Homeless” is an event that the brothers of the Sigma Pi fraternity host every year where they sleep out on the quad to raise money for the homeless. 

Philanthropy Chair of Sigma Pi Jake Rackauskas explained, “Sleepout for the Homeless is an event in which the Brothers of Sigma Pi makes forts and homes out of boxes that we sleep in overnight to support those that are in need and live in similar conditions. We raise money by selling snacks and beverages and accepting any generous donations. All of the proceeds go towards Our Father’s House, a local homeless shelter in Fitchburg. The whole point of the event is to raise awareness for the homeless.”

“In the early ’90s the brothers were deciding on what homeless shelter to donate money towards and took a vote which chose in favor of Our Father’s House as our philanthropy,” said Rackauskas when asked if there was a specific reason why the brothers chose Our Father’s House as their philanthropy. Rackauskas also explained that the brothers have been doing this event since 1991 when brother Sean Reardon and brother Steve Koldys started the event. When Rackauskas was asked whether Our Father’s House was a national philanthropy or a local philanthropy, he responded, “Our Father’s House is a local philanthropy specific to the Eta-Tau Chapter of Sigma Pi at Fitchburg State University.” 

The event was held on Oct. 22 from 10:00 a.m. -11:59 p.m. on the Quad, where they were selling pre-packaged snacks and building forts out of cardboard boxes, donated from Wachusett Brewery in Westminster. While speaking with President of Sigma Pi Jack Seaman about the event, due to COVID-19, he said that they were not allowed to stay on the Quad for 24 hours like originally planned. Philanthropy Chair of Sigma Pi Jake Rackauskas added that they were only permitted a one-day event, which lasted 14 hours. The brothers raised $300 during the event and the money will be donated to Our Father’s House in Fitchburg to help out the local homeless community.