C-U at Home One Winter Night 2021 will take place on February 5, 2021, in downtown Champaign. Because of the unusual circumstances we are all in this year, participants will be spread out in several downtown locations. Participants can also gather as a group at churches, in neighborhoods, or even in your own home. For those physically unable or uncomfortable about participating personally, there's also "virtual box dweller" option this year!

This is our tenth time to hold this signature community event to raise awareness and funds to help the homeless in our community. As one of our box dwelling participants, you will spend the entire night, 6 pm to 6 am, outside in a cardboard refrigerator box. This simulation is merely a snapshot of what our "friends without an address" experience every night. It is guaranteed to forever change your perspective on homelessness and our friends without an address!

We ask each participant to raise at least $1,000 for C-U at Home through sponsorships. You will receive a personal fundraising page to share with friends, family, co-workers, employers, or other business contacts. We will set the page up for you and send you a link to share with potential sponsors.

Our OWN 2021 event headquarters this year will be The Venue CU at 51 E. Main Street in downtown Champaign.  The Venue will act as a staging area for participants and volunteers.  Local speakers and musicians will be on stage throughout the night there as well.

In addition to their personal fundraising page, box-dwellers will also receive a Participant Handbook, a commemorative event mask, a yard sign to promote your participation, and a miniature display box.

Check out our FAQ's below and see what some of our previous box dwellers have said about their experience!


SIGN ME UP! I want to be a BOX DWELLER!

Box Dweller Resources


Do I need to bring my own box?

No, we provide all boxes!


What if I am not able to raise $1,000?

Have no fear! It is much easier to raise $1,000 than you might think. We equip you with a fundraising page, which allows you to share the cause with your friends and family via email or social media.

However, if for some reason you are not able to raise all of the funds, that's okay. We are thankful for your involvement and any amount of money you are able to raise. We even collect donations two weeks after the event itself to give you more time.


Can my kids participate with me?

Yes! In fact, one year we had eighteen kids that volunteered to be box dwellers with their parents!


What am I allowed to bring?

Please see the Box Dweller Handbook for more information on this. But the basics are this: you can dress in as many layers as you want and bring as many blankets and/or sleeping bags as you want. Personal heaters or other warming devices are not allowed (I mean come on, this is about the experience too!).

Fundraising Page Help

How do I create my fundraising page?

You will receive an email from our Executive Director, Rob Dalhaus, which will contain the link you need to sign up and create your page. If you need help creating your page, we can do it for you (email aleta@cuathome.us) or you can watch this quick 2 minute video for help (start at 24 seconds).


Do you have any fundraising tips?


Is there a form I can use to ask a business to sponsor me as a box dweller?

Yes! You can use our Business Sponsorship Form. Have them fill it out and then send it back in to us!


How do I share my fundraising page to social media, send an email to friends, or manage other items?

View this awesome video on your Participant Fundraising Center that will show you how to do everything!


You can also check out our other resources here:

Participant Guide

Box Dweller Testimonials