Bright Ideas: One Winter Night

Fundraising Ideas

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C-U at Home is a Champaign, IL nonprofit ministry that aims to serve the community’s homeless population. One of their main sources of funding is their peer-to-peer event called One Winter Night. In February 2019, C-U at Home will host their 8th One Winter Night event. During its first year, they raised $30,000. This year, they hope to raise $250,000!

One Winter Night exists to open people’s eyes about what it’s like to live on the streets. Peer-to-peer participants, who are referred to as Box Dwellers, sign up to spend twelve hours overnight on the street. Considering the event takes place in Illinois in February, it’s quite an experience! Each Box Dweller has a fundraising goal of $1,000. They spend the evening in large refrigerator boxes with no personal heaters; just blankets and warm clothes. With more than 100 participants, the sight of rows of large cardboard boxes lining the streets of downtown Champaign is quite a spectacle. Box Dwellers get their dinner from a local ambulance that normally delivers food and clothing to clients of C-U at Home, and in the morning, they eat breakfast at a local soup kitchen.

The event also serves as an education and advocacy opportunity, featuring speakers from local law enforcement and other agencies serving the homeless or at-risk. In the nearby warming center, C-U at Home shows a documentary detailing how the organization came to be and what it’s like to live on the streets.

Donations are collected on-site during the event, as well. One feature C-U at Home is very excited about this year is the peer-to-peer text giving feature. They plan on placing signs with the text giving number and their keyword along the road so passers-by can donate via text message (once they arrive safely at home, of course).

You can check out their peer-to-peer event here. If you have any questions about setting up your event, adding text giving, or anything else Qgiv-related, send us an email at We’d be happy to help!

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