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Kids in a Box raises $3,200 for HOPE shelter
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The annual Kids in a Box event brought in some $3,200 for the Raymus House from its sponsors as Manteca, Lathrop and Tracy youth learned what it is like to spend the night on the street. 

It was double last year’s efforts.

There were some 35 kids who arrived at the Raymus House campus on South Union Road at about 4 p.m. setting up their boxes and tents preparing to spend the night as if they were homeless. They stayed until 6 a.m. the next morning.

They represented the Boys & Girls Clubs in Lathrop and Manteca and a 12-14-year-old Tracy youth football team, “Rampage,” that sent six players to participate.  The remainder was from the Manteca and Lathrop clubs.  

The kids were served dinner that included barbecue chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, homemade mac ‘n cheese and homemade chili, according to Raymus House director Dave Thompson.   The entire Raymus House staff was on hand to spend the night with the students in their sleepover and even planned a breakfast for the youth.

He said the group played games such as volleyball for much of the night until they were completely worn out and crashed.  They were up at dawn Saturday morning having scheduled other volunteer events they were focused on to continue their weekend.

Sponsors for the Kids in a Box included South San Joaquin Irrigation District, Manteca District Ambulance, Simplot and the Valley Oak Dental Group.  In addition to the sponsors, the kids sought out friends and family members who would pledge monies to the event.  

Thompson said the event is usually held in May but was shifted to September doing much better in raising the charitable donations.