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ASU students to sleep in cardboard boxes, live on $2 per day

The students who plan to sleep in boxes are shown. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

MESA, Ariz. -- $2 per day.

That's what 20 Arizona State University students will be living on for the next three days.

They'll also be sleeping in cardboard boxes to discover what it's like to be to be poor. They will be doing it front of the Student Union building at ASU's Polytechnic campus in Mesa.

"Since 45 percent of the world lives on less than $2 a day, ASU students decided to join them and see how it feels," said Mentor Deeda, an ASU student from Kosovo.

Deeda said students have to earn the $2 themselves by cleaning dorm rooms, washing cars or taking donations. They also want people to drop off their old shoes.

"For every pound that we get, we get like a dollar," Deeda said.

A group called Esperanca will give them the dollar for the shoes. The footwear will then be donated to the poor.

"We hope we get a lot of donations from students," said Deeda.

The 20 students will all pool their money so that they will have $40 a day to live off of as a group. Deeda isn't thrilled with what they can eat.

"We have two meals a day, but the same meals like beans and tortillas, which I'm not looking forward to," he said.

Since fires are not allowed on the campus, the group will cook the meals in the student union's kitchen.

About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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