Marshall ATO goes homeless
THETA OMICRON (Marshall) — The Marshall University Theta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity are trying to raise awareness and funds for the Huntington City Mission through the event, “ATO goes homeless.”
To simulate the experience of the living without a home, the fraternity built a shelter from cardboard boxes. The structure is located outside the Memorial Student Center, and each member of the fraternity has volunteered to spend one night sleeping under the shelter.
“I slept in the shelter Monday night, and it was so cold,” said Andrew Frobel (Marshall ’10), ATO public relations chairman. “It gave me an appreciation of what I have.”
Frobel said the experience made him sympathize with the homeless in the cold winter months.
Members of the fraternity have been stationed at the cardboard shelter accepting donations for the city mission since 6 a.m. Monday. The effort will continue until 6 p.m. Thursday.
The donations will be used by the city mission to provide shelter, food and blankets for homeless people in the Huntington area, Frobel said.
Frobel said each ATO chapter in the nation participates in an annual event to benefit the homeless, though he is not aware of any other chapter that participates in an event like this one.
“I feel like this event makes us put ourselves in the position of the homeless and gives us an idea of the way they feel everyday,” said Brian Rice (Marshall ’11), sophomore criminal justice major. “It is a worthwhile experience for our chapter and for the city mission.”
Michael Warden (Marshall ’11), sophomore secondary education major, said that the fraternity chose to benefit the Huntington City Mission because it is a local organization that helps people living in the Huntington community.
“A bunch of us are from Huntington and we are all familiar with the city mission,” said Warden. “Those of us from here can say that we are giving back to our own community. Supporting a local organization also helps to acclimate our brothers who are not from here.”
Warden said that the experience is also a way for the new members and the active members of the fraternity to bond.
The fraternity is enjoying the experience and getting creative with the cardboard structure. Boxes were donated by various local businesses and members have made additions to the structure each day. Warden said that the shelter has grown to four rooms.
“It is a very big cardboard box,” Frobel said.
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Article via The Parthenon