My Night Under the Stars

December 22, 2016

by Lauren Walters

Just imagine. You’re only 15. On the streets. With no place to go, no one to turn to for help and nothing but the clothes on your back. Sadly, there are more than 1,200 children in Dallas each year that face this very harsh and scary reality every day.

Our Dallas team was first introduced to Promise House this summer when a few of us went to visit with their team, tour their facilities and learn more about their programs to support homeless and runaway youth. From the first visit, we were so inspired by their heartfelt mission, passion and commitment and blown away by what they’ve built to get these children and young adults back on their feet in a meaningful and long-term way. We were immediately all-in and ready to help them however we could.

And that’s how I ended up spending a night under the stars with nothing more than a sleeping bag, a cardboard box and a campfire in November. That night, I was honored to represent FleishmanHillard and join other business and community leaders in the Dallas area at Promise House’s second annual Sleep Out event to raise awareness and funds for homeless, runaway and at-risk youth.


While it was pretty chilly (for Texas) and a thunderstorm rolled in in the wee hours, it was an eye-opening and humbling experience to get a small taste of what it might be like to be homeless. It was more than worth a little discomfort to help shine a light on this growing issue. However, unlike those experiencing real homelessness, I knew I had a home and family to go back to in the morning.

The Sleep Out was a big success for Promise House—with 40 sleepers from Dallas’ top business and community leaders raising more than $95,000. Our Dallas team exceeded our own fundraising goal and drummed up a total of 69 donations.

This event was the perfect culmination of months of our office partnering with Promise House by providing talent, time and treasure. The most rewarding part of all was our team spending time with the kids at Promise House and bringing a little joy to their lives by hosting a Halloween party and baking pies, crafting and playing together on the climb-crawl-slide space at SPARK!, local learning playground where children can explore and unleash their creativity. We also hosted an inter-office competition to drive donations for clothes and toiletries; and we provided media relations, communication training and social media support for the organization.

After the success of Sleep Out (and after I’d gotten a little bit of sleep and a shower!), I reflected on the tremendous “spirit of giving” that thrives in our office, and how meaningful it was to see this in action. It’s been such a gift for me, and I know for others on our team, to have been given the opportunity to support such an important cause as part of our FH70 initiative.

Learn more about Promise House here.