Cardboard City
"Cardboard City" poster image. (Photo courtesy of

by Brianna MacSaveny

Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) will host a Cardboard City on April 10 in the Kaplan Gymnasium to raise money and awareness for a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization called Family Promise.

“Ashley and I have been planning this event since last September and we can’t wait to see how this event will go,” said Nina Gecosala, event coordinator.

Attendees will create a “home” out of cardboard boxes to simulate what it’s like to be homeless. The goal is to raise awareness and money for homeless children and families in Orange County.

According to Family Promise’s website, they opened 20 years ago and have served over 500,000 people across the United States, including thousands of families.

The cost to register is $5 for participants and $2 for non-participants.

“All money collected will benefit Family Promise of the Mid-Hudson Valley, a nonprofit that helps local homeless children and families achieve lasting independence and escape the cycle of poverty,” said Ashley Peel, Gecosala’s fellow event coordinator.

The event is only open to the MSMC community, but has received a lot of support from local businesses, such as St. Lukes Cornwall Hospital, Federal Credit Union, Digiorgi Roofing and Siding, Newburgh Rotary Club, Billy Joe’s Ribworks, Pizza Shop, and Randones, according to Gecosala.

“The experience is designed to raise funds and awareness to help homeless children and their families in our community achieve sustainable housing,” said Gecosala.

Cardboard boxes will be provided, but participants are asked to bring decorations and supplies for their boxes. Prizes will be given for the best decorated and most creative box.

The event will last from 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. There will be access to bathrooms, simulation games, live entertainment, free food, and coffee from Dunkin Donuts.

“I hope everyone can get involved and come together and build a cardboard house for a good cause,” said Gecosala. “It’s going to be really fun, and in exchange it will bring awareness to the students on what homelessness really is, and who’s affected.”

For more information on Family Promise visit

For any questions regarding the event contact Gecosala at or  Peel at