Devin Morasch had a few ideas about where he might pitch his tent for a campout at John Dam Plaza.
"Maybe right here," the 11-year-old said, pointing to a flat, grassy spot next to the tree he was perched in Friday in the Richland park.
"Or maybe there," he said, pointing a little farther away. A few tents already were set up by mid-afternoon and more were expected to join them -- part of the Raise Your Tents event to build awareness of homelessness and raise money for the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission.
This marks the fourth Raise Your Tents campout in the Tri-Cities, and Devin -- a sixth-grader at Enterprise Middle School in West Richland -- has been a faithful participant from the start.
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One year, his tent soaked through with rain and he had to leave early.
During the last campout, "We got caught in a snow storm. It was very cold," he recalled.
Every year, Devin has made an extra effort to raise money for the mission, which provides shelter for men, women and children, among other services.
His fundraising haul has grown exponentially every year -- from a small amount of cash on his first try to more than $1,000 last time.
This year, he set his goal at $10,000. The grandson of the late Jim Morasch, longtime Tri-Cities Airport director, didn't reach it but still raised more than $2,400, largely from a yard sale.
"What he's done is just incredible. Puts a lot of us adults to shame," said Andrew Porter, the mission's assistant executive director. "He's really got a heart for people who are hurting. I think that's what drives him."
Devin said he first learned about Raise Your Tents through Central United Protestant Church in Richland, where he attends. People who are homeless aren't less-than, but have fallen on hard times and need a helping hand, Devin said. "They're not different than anybody else," he said.
On Thursday night, eight or nine people camped out in John Dam Plaza. Ben Cook, who organizes Raise Your Tents in the Tri-Cities, expected at least a few more campers Friday night, including Devin and his crew of family and friends.
Campers pay for their spots, with the money going to the mission. The four-year event has generated about $25,000 for the mission, Cook said.
Devin has no plans to stop his fundraising. The son of Julie Fisher of West Richland and Dave Morasch of Pasco said he's thinking of making another attempt at his $10,000 goal.
"I'll see if I can get any closer," he said.