What is 5 Days?
5 Days is a national campaign run by the Canadian Association of Business Students that strives to raise awareness and donations for members of society that are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
All is done with the goal of sensitizing and educating the public on one of the major problems in this country. Donations raised are given to local shelters and programs to support their services within the community.
Mission: To get students and local communities engaged in raising awareness and donations for homelessness through an annual week long campaign.
Founded in 2005 by students from the University of Alberta, the idea of the campaign started with the idea of university students stimulating the experience of homelessness to raise money and awareness for a local partner charity. The campaign today takes on many different forms, with participating schools launching their campaigns during the month of March every year.
The original idea of the campaign was for participants to commit in stimulating challenges those who experience homelessness would encounter. Participants agree to go 5 days without personal comforts that we often take for granted, such as access to showers, a warm bed or a kitchen with food, all while having to rely on family, friends and strangers to provide necessities like food and beverages since participants are not permitted to spend personal money or donations for the duration of the campaign. In addition, these students are expected to attend all classes and write scheduled examinations. Since the creation of 5 Days, the role of participants varies from school to school.
We have also encourage faculty, administration and even local celebrities and political figures to join us in our venture and they have been extremely receptive to the invitation; challenging students to raise funds for each night they spend outdoors. In past years, notables like George Laraque, Justin Trudeau and Denis Coderre and many other local radio, TV and municipal figures have joined the 5 Days participants for a full night outside.