Teen Vows to Sleep Outside for 1 Year to Help the Homeless
byKaitlin StanfordJan 27, 2014
In their last year of high school, most teens are prepping for their Senior Prom, getting caught up in who was at so-and-so's party on Saturday night, and generally living it up before they head off to college. But 17-year-old Rudy Hummel of Hermantown, Minn., is concerned about much bigger things. Like the state of the homelessness, for example.
In fact, Rudy's so committed to making a difference with the homeless of Minnesota, that he's made a year-long commitment to sleep outside every ... single ... night. As in, 365 nights of sleep in the great outdoors, come rain, shine, snow or horribly frigid temperatures, like the region is seeing right now. (A recent reading: minus 27 degrees!) It's all to benefit his own "Snore Outdoors" campaign, which aims to raise funds—and, in the process, awareness—for Habitat for Humanity, which builds shelters for the homeless, as well as the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, which protects migratory birds.
And in case you think Rudy's just begun this whole campaign, and doesn't know what he's gotten himself into, think again: this kid's been sleeping outside since last June. He started by sleeping in a tree house in his backyard; but since the winter hit, he's had to get slightly more creative with his ways of dealing outdoors. So he made a shelter of frozen water crystals (duh, isn't that exactly what you'd do?). The hut, which is otherwise known as a quinzhee, even helped him ride out that terrible "Polar Vortex" much of the country experienced this winter.
Of course, Rudy's parents have stepped in where they can to make sure their son is as safe out there as possible—and that means setting him up with multiple layers of socks, making sure he has a special outlet for lights and giving him hot water bottles for warmth whenever possible.
So how is Rudy do so far in this experience? Apparently, he couldn't be better. "I'm about as warm as I would be inside, I think," he told CNN. "But I haven't slept inside in so long that maybe that's not true." (Yea, we think maybe it's not.)
If you're totally impressed by Rudy (because, really, who wouldn't be?), learn more about his "Snore Outdoors" campaign right here and see how you can support it.