Brothers trade house for hope

Nov 15, 2010

The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at Marshall University went homeless for 48-hours straight to raise money for the Huntington City Mission.

This annual fundraiser started at 6 a.m. Tuesday and ended today at 6 a.m. in front of the Memorial Student Center.

The ATO brothers built a shelter from boxes and newspapers to house participants during their shift.

Michael Warden, freshman ATO member and history major from Huntington, said he stayed at the shelter from midnight to 6 a.m. Wednesday and slept under a box with just a blanket to keep him warm.

Warden said his fraternity brothers alternated with two-hour shifts during the day and some stayed all night.

“It was definitely chilly and very deserted around campus,” said Lake Morehouse, sophomore ATO member and broadcast journalism major from Huntington.

“Experiencing cold temperatures and actually feeling what they feel makes you aware of everything they go through,” Warden said. “We would eat a lot before each of our shifts to reserve energy. When you see people on the street, it makes you want to do something good for them. Hopefully we raised enough money, especially with Thanksgiving coming up.”

Jack Hamilton, freshman ATO member and undecided major from Newport News, Va., said he joined his brothers at the shelter and stayed all night.

“Helping the community is what a fraternity is all about, and being there for your brothers,” he said.

Nick Martin, freshman ATO member and an international business major from Hurricane, W.Va., said materials for the project were donated from the science building and other resources found around campus.

“The boxes were donated by Walmart and the science department,” Martin said.

“As far as the supplies go, we have the paper that students get, such as The Parthenon, blankets from the ATO house and Duct tape.”

The recycling bins around campus were used to dispose of any recyclable resources used, he said.

Morehouse said on Wednesday they raised about $120.

“This is a good event to spread awareness,” he said. “We put together the type of lifestyle they live, so we hope to make a difference by giving back to the community and making a difference.”

The Huntington City Mission was established in 1939 to help the hungry, homeless and the impoverished of the area, according to a Huntington City Mission pamphlet.

Drew Hetzer can be contacted at


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