Tight end Vernon Davis managed to get six hours of sleep Thursday night, which is notable because he spent it outside on the streets of Washington, D.C., laying on nothing but a cardboard box and inside a sleeping bag, resting his head on his backpack.
Joining thousands of people in 18 cities across the United States and Canada, Davis helped raise awareness and more than $6 million for homeless youth as part of the Covenant House Sleep Out, which takes place once a year for business owners and leaders in an organization. "It was just a humbling experience," said Davis, who spent the night outside with his girlfriend. "I feel like in order to really show compassion for something or someone, you have to really put yourself into it, firsthand experience, go through the whole process of what it's like to really be in that situation."
A discussion panel with some the Covenant House members started the evening, which was followed by dinner. Davis went to bed around 10:30 p.m., reading his playbook from his iPad, and woke up around 4 a.m. so he could be back home in time to start his routine at the facility.
Davis said his friend from high school notified him about the program, which hosts Sleep Outs for different groups of people and organization several other times throughout the year.
He also described how cold he was once he woke up, a feeling he hopes will prepare him a little bit for Sunday night's game against the Packers, in which temperatures may dip below 30 degrees.
"It showed me that, hey man, for people who have nowhere to go, for them to be able to lay out here, just be in this cold weather and such a strenuous environment, I mean you don't know what could happen to you, any given moment," Davis said. "It just warms my heart in so many ways and just shows me what they're going through."