For years, the organizations of Southern University have done plenty for the surrounding community. In honor of the celebration of the 2019 Bayou Classic, the Phi Alpha Social Work Societies of Southern University and Grambling State University have come together to enrich the lives of the homeless, the most vulnerable population of the New Orleans area. Along with the New Orleans Mission and the AETNA Health Plan, they have launched a drive to collect hygiene products that will be distributed to the homeless camps.
The New Orleans Mission (NOM) is a nonprofit 501c(3) Christian Humanitarian Organization that is dedicated to relieving human suffering. NOM combats poverty, hunger, homelessness, exploitation, and oppression with the provision of food, clothing, shelter, medical care and other necessities of life.
This is the first time a drive of this proportion has occurred on the Southern University campus. Tangela Colson, an Assistant Professor, and advisor for the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society, had this to say about this year’s drive and its long term future: “While this is the first time we are collaborating in this effort, we are marking plans for this to be an annual event.”
When creating the drive, student presidents, Briana Armstrong of Southern University and Courtney Jackson of Grambling State University, along with their members collaborated to create a community service project in the city of New Orleans since it allows them to fulfill the mission of social work for vulnerable populations. Additionally, the two organizations main goal is to give back to the city for graciously hosting the Bayou Classic. Since the start of this drive, donating to the homeless has received positive feedback from the student body.
Adrian Dabney, a 25-year-old freshman, says that “I feel that donating to the homeless will give them the help they need and would be a blessing to their lives.” Especially for people who aren’t as fortunate as others during the Fall and Winter, drives such as these are made all the more important.
“I think that it’s important since the human body works better when it has what it needs,” said Nick Muhindi, a junior Mass Communication major. Though it is not a required thing to do, the organizations are encouraging the public to get involved and donate items. While collecting the items is an important first step, the students involved will also be responsible for working in the homeless camps to deliver the products and provide support and encouragement directly to the people. This will occur on Friday, November 29 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
For any student who would like to donate to the drive, they can go to the third floor of Higgins Hall. The items that are being collected are socks, deodorant, toothpaste, feminine products, and any other hygiene products.
The hygiene drive will last from November 1 to November 26. If there is any student who has any questions about the drive, the can contact anyone on the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society, Briana Armstrong, the President at Briana_Armstrong_00@subr.edu, Bryanna Franklin, the Vice-President at Bryanna_Franklin_00@subr.edu and Dejion Hughes, the Secretary-Treasurer at Dejion_Hughes_00@subr.edu. As well the can contact the organization’s advisor, Tangela Colson at Tangela_Colson@subr.edu or by calling her office number, (225) 771-0218.