Students helping those who need help

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Colter 

FAMU students gave back to the Frenchtown community and near the Kearney Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, the first day of December. Students donated sweaters, blankets and hot chocolate. 

Items were collected in the Efferson Student Union & Activities building throughout November. Students were able to receive volunteer hours for participating. 

Organizations, and groups assisted in the assembling and sorting of items and helped to distribute them. 

Stephanie Colter, the leadership and service learning coordinator for Efferson Student Union and Activities, put together this event.

“I implemented this event because there is an influx of homeless individuals located near the Frenchtown      area and the Kearney Center and the temperature is beginning to drop, so providing blankets, sweaters, and jackets can be extremely beneficial for those that are constantly exposed to the elements,” said Colter. 

Student team leaders Chalion Belchie, Phylisity Walters, Zarria Greene, Ju'Sha Williams, and Jasmine Fowler were also responsible for putting the event together. 

 Joshlyn Thomas from Student Affairs partnered with the Efferson Student Union as the event coordinator and provided assistance as well as Tanya Tatum from Student Health Services. 

“It was planned to help connect our students with the community during the holidays. The event helped to spread some holiday cheer by accepting donations and passing out the items to individuals in need at the Kearney Center,” Thomas said. “Another great aspect of this event was the opportunity for students to be able to interact with their dean of students during this service experience. We all collected, sorted, and passed out the winter clothes and hot chocolate packets to patrons of the center, and in the process, formed our own bond of community.”

Chalion Belchie served as the campus and community team leader for the Leadership and Service Learning program under Efferson Student Union. She assisted Colter with organizing, planning, and executing the event. 

“Overall, I thought the event was a great way for us to give back to the community despite the challenges faced with the weather and locations. I believe that the volunteers had a good time seeing first-hand the experiences of a homeless shelter and even the interaction with a homeless person. I was glad to help provide some structure to the event for the volunteers and see the even through given all the logistics behind it.” 

Phyllisity Walters, the assessment chair, said: “I believe that the event was a success. I asked all of the participants several post questions to review their experience.”