Orlando, FL – 37-year-old Kevin Sutton is camping out for Black Friday a month in advance, but he’s not very interested in the sales. Rather, Sutton is taking the opportunity to raise awareness about homelessness. Last Sunday, Sutton set up his tent out front of a Best Buy store on South Orange Blossom Trail.
While he is camped out in front of the store, Sutton will be collecting donations of canned goods that will be donated to a local charity that provides help to needy children during the holidays.
Sutton was inspired to take on this project after he waited in a Black Friday line at Best Buy a few years ago and met some homeless people in the crowd who didn’t even have food to eat.
He saw one man digging through a trash can for food, so he offered him some of his own and learned that the man hadn’t eaten in days.
“We sat and talked for about an hour and that was the most heartwrenching conversation I ever had. … You know, that hit me so hard where I was like, ‘I don’t know what I can do to change this for anyone else,” Sutton said in an interview with ABC News.
This experience stuck with Sutton, so last year when Black Friday came around, he decided that he wanted to make a difference. He ended up camping for 15 days last year and collected over three tons of canned goods for a local charity.
This year he says that he wants to take it a step further and camp for a total of 33 days, but also, live in the same conditions that a homeless person does.
“I do not shower. I live as close to being homeless as possible,” Sutton said.
“I would say the biggest thing is like, emotionally, not having anyone to talk to. I could see where most homeless people start developing things mentally,” he added.
“This is one month. … Thanksgiving is a beautiful thing that you get to share with people, but knowing that there’s a family that doesn’t have food to put on the table for Thanksgiving? I’ll lose Thanksgiving every year,” Sutton said.
John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page and purchase his books at his website www.JohnVibes.com.