WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Some Texomans spent the night at a furniture store parking lot, inside a cardboard box fort to bring awareness and raise money for homeless vets on Friday.
"I just really want to help the veterans," Jeremy Johnson, the manager at Johnson's Furniture and Mattress said.
He said his brother, U.S. Army Command Sgt. Mjr. Jason Johnson, inspired him to help military veterans. He said it is unimaginable for him to think heroes like his brother could sleep inside a box like this.
"I feel sorrow and pain because they shouldn't be doing that especially when they serve our country," Johnson said.
That was why he said he slept in a hot and humid cardboard box to help bring awareness. He said his children were at a loss for words when they heard about the conditions those veterans live under.
"'They go where do they sleep?' I'm like wherever they can find. They go 'Well, what do they eat?' I'm like 'whatever they can find.' There like 'How do they brush their teeth?' I'm like 'man they really don't know anything,'" Johnson said. "Now, they have a good sense of what people go through."
"You don't understand how hard it is until you actually done it," Chris De La Garza North Texas Veterans Relief Fund vice-chair said. NTVRF is a non-profit that helps homeless veterans.
The money he raised will all go to the non-profit's Base Camp Lindsey. It is a project that will house homeless veterans in tiny homes so they do not have to sleep in boxes anymore. He also plans to donate 65 beds.
De La Garza has worked to build the camp for the last two years. She said she is still far from reaching her goal. They have raised $20,000 but will need $1 million to build it.
She said once they reach it then it would all be worth it.
"That's the urgency behind getting Camp Lindsey built is knowing that they don't have to go through another 100-degree day, they're not going to have another 10-degree day in the winter," Garza said. "They could have a roof over their head, a health meal and the will to move forward."
If you would like to help, you can still donate at the furniture store or on its Facebook page.