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Constructing a cardboard community

Photo by Sara Hacking Robert Canfield smiles from the confines of the cardboard home he outfitted with a door he could pull shut with a rope. His temporary dwelling was part of a cardboard village constructed by local youth during a 30-hour Famine event held last Friday and Saturday to raise money for World Vision, a Christian relief organization.1 / 12
Misty Uselman and Rachel Bertram congratulate each other on the large cardboard box they found to live in Friday.2 / 12
Jared Sherman and J.D. Olson tape their floor together.3 / 12
Steph Ament tapes up the interior of her triangular-shaped residence for the night in Burlington Northern Park.4 / 12
Cecilia Wood and Ashley Denny tape together their home5 / 12
Jesse Flores peeks out of the hatch of a long-narrow section of a cardboard home.6 / 12
Mary Schroeder, front, and Keri Monson celebrate the passing of the first train to speed by their temporary dwelling in the pines last Friday.7 / 12
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Lindsey Ervasti and Jenny Kern dig in a Dumpster for more building materials.9 / 12
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A student's sneakers peek out of an entrance.11 / 12
Ryan Wolfenden, left, and Matt Drayna are the proud builders of a home complete with Christmas lights, a four-pane window and a chimney.12 / 12

A cardboard box was home sweet home for 147 kids last Friday night in Burlington Northern Park in Wadena.

The kids built the cardboard village as part of a 30-hour Famine event put on by Wadena Evangelical, the Wadena Assemblies of God and the Wadena and Verndale Christian & Missionary Alliance churches.

Youth raised about $66,000 to fight world hunger, including a government grant that matches five times what students raise for World Vision projects, said Wadena Evangelical Youth Pastor Mark LaPaglia. Each dollar will feed one hungry child for a day.

Kids began their fast Friday morning. Events included a concert, games and service projects. Kids collected $4,000 worth of food and funds for the Wadena Food Shelf and cleaned around town on Saturday, LaPaglia said.

Youth leaders got a lot of positive feedback from the kids.

"Every kid I talked to said they would do it again," said Jenny Steinkopf, a youth leader at the Wadena CMA.

Other churches got in on the spirit, too. The St. Ann's and St. John the Baptist Catholic churches youth attended the concert Friday and also fasted and did services projects.

"We starved so others could eat," said Nicole Perala, youth director for St. Ann's and St. John the Baptist.