There are hard lessons to learn in the business world but few may be harder than the lesson learned by about a dozen U of A business students over the next five days.

Armed with only a sleeping bag, a pillow and some warm clothes, the students began the 5 Days for the Homeless fundraiser yesterday night. The fundraiser is five days and five nights of living outside in the hopes of bringing awareness to homelessness in the city.

“Youth homelessness in Edmonton has become invisible to a lot of people,” said third-year business student and event chair Nathan Petersen. “By running this campaign, we hope to raise money for the Youth Emergency Shelter Society and to raise awareness for the issue itself.”

Last year the event raised over $15,000. Over the last five years, $70,000 has been raised.

Petersen said he hopes to add significantly to that total this year.

“This year we hope to raise another $20,000,” he said. “Sooner or later, we’ll be able to say we’ve raised over $100,000 for the Youth Emergency Shelter Society and that’s huge. The number of lives that changes makes this all worth it.”

Often the stereotype put on business students is that they don’t care about the community, according to Petersen. He hopes this fundraiser will help change that stereotype.

“There’s more to business than just making a buck,” he said. “We want to support our community and recognize that there are issues going on outside of our four walls.”

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