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Southside Shantytown Fundraiser
Southside Students to Build Shantytown - 4th Annual Habitat for Humanity Fundraiser

Fort Smith, AR-- What does it mean to live without simple, decent housing in the cold of winter? Local Southside High School students are going to have the chance to experience what it is like to live in a "shantytown" during an April 2 fundraiser where they hope to raise at least $10,000 and awareness for poverty housing in the River Valley area and around the world. A shantytown is a section of a city or town characterized by shanties and crudely built houses. 

The idea for the shantytown fundraiser was developed 4 years ago by students from the Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter at Southside High School and was carried out successfully last three springs raising over $30,000. “This year we hope to have a great turnout and gain even more support from our community”, says Abby Barr and Hannah Coffman, Co-Presidents of the Campus Chapter.  Even Southside principal, Wayne Haver will be on hand to entertain participating students as he performs songs on his harmonica around a fire barrel.

Southside High School students will spend the night outside of the school, living in their self-constructed shantytown built from cardboard and duct tape. Other limited supplies will be on hand. While staying in their makeshift shelters, participants will try to gain pledges from their churches, peers, parents, and others in the community.

The majority of the funds raised by the Southside Shantytown will be used by Arkansas Valley Habitat for Humanity to build simple, decent homes for those in need right here in the River Valley. A small portion will be a tithe to Habitat International to build in other countries. Funds will also help send student leaders to the Habitat for Humanity Youth Leadership Conference in the fall of 2016. 

All participants will pay a small registration fee (rent) in order to be part of the event and will hopefully raise more money through pledges during the night. Drop off donations will also be welcomed at the event and motorists and passers-by are encouraged to place donations in a large "house-bank" on-site.

Check in for participating students begins on April 2 at 5:00 pm at Southside High School located at 4100 Gary Street, Fort Smith. Students will begin to build their shanty as soon as they check in. A soup-kitchen-style dinner will be provided for participants Saturday evening. There will be opportunities for participants to earn “luxury items” based on their fundraising efforts i.e. hand warmers, hot chocolate, flashlights, tarps, etc. The event will wrap up on April 3 at 9:00 am.

Media Inquiries:  For more information about the Southside Shantytown Fundraiser, please contact Hannah Coffman at (479) 769-5656 or Abby Barr at (479) 769-5917. We invite all media to attend and experience this eye opening event.

School Board meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Service Center Auditorium, located in Building B of the Service Center Complex, 3205 Jenny Lind Road. The meetings are open to the public.


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School Board meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Service Center Auditorium, located in Building B of the Service Center Complex, 3205 Jenny Lind Road. The meetings are open to the public.

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PO Box 1948 | 3205 Jenny Lind Road | Fort Smith, Arkansas 72902

In compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws, the Fort Smith Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, genetic information, or disability in its employment or educational practices. If you have questions regarding the professional qualifications of your child's teachers or paraprofessionals, you are encouraged to ask Mr. Martin Mahan, Executive Director of Human Resources. • Le invitamos a que hable con la Senor Martin Mahan si usted tiene alguna pregunta sobre las capacitaciones profesionales de los maestros o asistentes de maestros de sus hijos.

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