Drive by Riverview United Methodist Church in Pasco on Saturday and Sunday and you'll see people sleeping in boxes, washing windows and asking for food.
They're the church's youth group -- about 20 teens ages 12 to 18 -- participating in a "30 Hour Famine" event to focus attention on the community's homeless.
"It's a national movement that we've received information on for years," said Julie Estes, youth director for the church. "I know of a number of youth groups who've done this in the past. We just haven't organized one at our church until this year.
"My group has typically been very homeless focused over the past 10 years or so," Estes said. "They've helped homeless kids at school, went to White Swan and worked with a church group, and one year went to Denver to go through their homeless shelters.
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"It's a passion for most of the youths in my group, with the older ones passing that passion on down to the younger ones, keeping it going in a big circle," Estes said.
The 30 Hour Famine begins at 8 a.m. Saturday with breakfast and ends at 1 p.m. Sunday with lunch. Between those two meals the youths won't be allowed to leave and won't be allowed into the church buildings, except for restroom breaks, until 10:30 a.m. Sunday for services.
They'll be allowed a book, cards, school work and the clothes they are wearing. Electronic equipment is banned.
"They can also have a sleeping bag and a box, any box they can find," Estes said. "And yes, I'll be sleeping in a box too. If my youths do it, I do it."
The youths will need to rely on the community to provide for all their other needs, including food and water. They're asking for donations of blankets, clothing and food.
"Anything you would normally give to a homeless person or a shelter," Estes said.
All donations in excess of what the youths need will be given to the Union Gospel Mission.
The church is at 4012 W. Court St.
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org