Every night, millions of children around the world lay down without a proper bed to sleep on; from 30 November to 1 December, MGCI Key Club hosted their annual school sleepover to raise money for these children. All of the money that was raised will go directly to Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), a Toronto-based organization whose mission is to give every child the opportunity for a good night’s sleep. Since 1970, SCAW has sent bed-kits that include a mat or mattress, mosquito netting, a school bag with school supplies, clothing, and shoes to over one million children in thirty-four developing countries. This year, MGCI Key Club will donate nearly $1 400 to SCAW, enough to provide forty bed-kits to children in need.

SCAW night began at 5 pm on Friday after school and ended fourteen hours later at 7 am on Saturday. Students were allowed to hang out in the gym or cafeteria and various activities were offered in both. In the gym, students could play games such as basketball, badminton, and volleyball. There was also a dodgeball competition where students could compete against their friends; the winners were rewarded with chocolate bars. In the cafeteria, attendees could play video games like Mario Kart and Call of Duty or watch horror movies. Dinner consisted of pizza, lasagna, and pasta salad; it was served in the cafeteria at around 7:45 pm while snacks were available for the entire night. Students were told to bring something comfortable to sleep on during the night, though some people borrowed mats and slept on the floor or on benches.

A game of basketball was set up in the gym. Image: Justin Ye

Students play dodgeball in their pajamas. Image: Justin Ye

Around fifty students were in attendance, a great improvement when compared to last year’s twenty-nine. The number of participants was especially impressive considering last year, Key Club had to postpone SCAW Night until March due to low registration. The event was heavily advertised with many announcements, word of mouth, posts on social media, and posters around the school. Students were required to hand in their signed forms along with $25 by 29 November if they wanted to attend, and this deadline was strongly emphasized. As the deadline drew closer, additional announcements were made by Mr. Sharp and Ms. O’Flynn-Wheeler to remind students that without a form, they could not participate. When asked why he decided to participate this year, student Saliha Sunderji said, “Everyone said it was really fun last year and one of my friends came too so I thought it would be good.” Most students were aware of the charity that they were supporting, however, it seemed that the driving factor for many attendees was being able to spend a night at school with their friends.

Students were generally satisfied with the event. Almost all attendees were engaged in the various activities that were available and there was improved participation from last year. When asked about how SCAW Night could be improved, student Jack Wong said he wished that a space separate from the cafeteria or gym could be allocated specifically for sleeping. 

MGCI Key Club President Maggie Xu thought the event was very successful, commenting, “I’m extremely proud of the turnout this year as it’s almost double last year. I am also especially happy that there was more group participation and people seemed to really be enjoying themselves throughout the night.” For next year, Maggie hopes that “just as many students or hopefully more want to get involved.” If participation in SCAW Night continues in an upward trend, MGCI Key Club is sure to keep accomplishing their goal of raising money to give children in need a bed to sleep in at night.