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Salvation Army Officer sleeping outside to raise homelessness awareness

Posted: 5:52 PM, Dec 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-11 18:52:46-05

One Salvation Army Officer is freezing for a reason in Sheboygan. 

Capt. Daryl Mangeri is spending every night outside of Festival Foods in Sheboygan this week. He wants to help raise awareness for the homeless, the hungry and the hurting. 

"Unless you experience something and walk a mile in someone's shoes, you don't know what's around the corner," Mangeri said. "I love the people that we serve. I'm here to advocate for them. What better way than doing it sleeping in a shopping cart for five days."

Mangeri sleeping in a shopping cart is more figurative than literal. Yes, it is a shopping cart but it is roughly 20 times the size of a standard shopping cart. He hopes the visual aid will help remind people that all homeless people do not look alike. 

"I want to break the stigma of what people think about homeless people. What's indicative of people in Chicago or San Francisco, where everyone has their belongings in a shopping cart," Mangeri said.

"Here in Sheboygan, it's a beautiful city. People carry backpacks. You don't know if they're a student, if they're homeless, if they're traveling to and from work. I'm here to advocate."

The Red Kettle Campaign already pulls in about 25 percent of their annual budget comes from this campaign. So Mangeri is hoping this extra effort will help keep those off the streets and somewhere warm this winter. 

"It's a lot colder than I thought," Mangeri said. "I thought I had all this great gear but the wind still finds its way in. It helps me realize just a small portion of what someone who is homeless goes through who lives in their car or tent."

Mangeri's gear is tried and true. He borrowed a tent from a friend who used it while climbing on Mount Kilimanjaro. He also has a military grade sweater on and several layers. His sleeping bag is tested to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Also, his tent is placed about six feet off the ground. If it were on the ground, the cold temperatures would likely be even harsher for him. So he knows his small sacrifice is nothing compared to what some people have to deal with in the winter. 

"A lot of tossing and turning," Mangeri said. "But once again, this is very indicative of what I'm doing. I wanted to experience the cold. I got a small taste of that."

Mangeri will be outside of Festival Foods from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. every night this week. He'll turn in for bed around 9:00 p.m. and wake up in time to greet people around 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 a.m. He encourages people to come and talk to him and learn more about why he's doing this.