Monday, September 9, 2013


~ Just a friendly reminder that once my blog reaches 50 followers, I will give away 1 free paperback copy of my book "Resistance"! ~

This past weekend my sister, a friend, and I participated in the annual Shantytown and...wait, what the heck is Shantytown?!

Shantytown is a fundraiser to help the homeless in our community, and it involves people signing up to build houses or "shanties" out of cardboard (this is to represent the homeless people who have to live in cardboard boxes). Money is raised by people voting for the best shack, a supper and breakfast paid for by the participants, and a silent auction. People set up their shanties in designated "blocks" around a field, which explains the name Shantytown. The fun part is that we can decorate our shanties however much we want! This year's decorating theme was 'a place to hang out with friends', so our group decided to do a movie theatre. Other groups had a Facebook shanty, a Tardis shanty, and a Hunting Shack.

Our shanty before it is put up.
Didn't get any of the "steps" in putting our shanty up, since I had to get in and help, but here is what it looked like when it was finished.

This is the front (you can see the doorway and the entry rug!) If you can't read it the marquee says: "Shanty Theatre. "Mission Possible", starring: YOU.) The "mission" here being to help the homeless in our community.
My sister and I did 90% of the painting. We decided to have five movie posters to make it look like a theater, two on each side and one on the back. I painted the dark red bricks on the sides and the entire marquee, while my sister did most of the roof.

As for choosing which movie posters to use, we knew they all had to be movies that we (me, my sister, and our friend) all liked a lot. So we decided on The Hunger Games, The Avengers, Singin' in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, and Pocahontas. (People would come up to us during the event and comment on how they loved a certain movie we had chosen.)

West side of the shanty.

East side of the shanty.

Back of the shanty.
 After we finished putting up the shanty, we had some ice cream, ate supper, and watched a movie with some of the other groups. Our friend provided string lights to put on our shanty after dark! Isn't it purty?

So yes, Saturday night I slept in a cardboard box. On the plus side we were plenty warm; other years it's rained, snowed, and been freezing cold in Shantytown, and we were incredibly blessed to have good weather that night. On the bad side, sleeping on cardboard, even with a sleeping bag, is not very comfortable.

But hey, I've slept in the back of a pickup, an airport terminal, and in plenty of waiting rooms, so how bad could it be?

The next morning we had time for breakfast, games, and handing out the awards before we had to tear it down. Our shanty won two awards!

This is what I woke up to Sunday morning around 7:00 AM.

The inside of the Shanty Theatre!

I'm exhausted, but I had a lot of fun. I really hope we can do it next year.


  1. Oh that sounds really cool! I love the theater design you guys did.

  2. This sounds like a lot of fun, and a fun and ingenious way to raise money for a worthy cause. Your shanty looked great, very creative idea to make a movie theater, and I'm so happy your family's shanty won some awards. Congratulations!