USM helping children in need

USM helping children in need

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi

Compassion can be given in many different ways, but for a child, the warmth and comfort of a new, stuffed, cuddly friend means more than we grown-ups know.

In an effort to make a difference in our own community and change lives one donation at a time, the Department of English at The University of Southern Mississippi will collect children's books, blankets and stuffed animals through Dec. 15 as part of a nationwide initiative called Project Night Night. The organization works toward advancing the emotional and cognitive well-being of homeless children by providing them with nighttime comforts.

This local Project Night Night event is a collaborative effort between the English Department and the Fieldhouse for the Homeless, a local organization that has been helping move men, women and children off the street since 2013.

Children of families who are directed to The Fieldhouse for the Homeless will receive a package that contains a new security blanket, an age appropriate children's book and a stuffed animal, all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag.

Interested contributors can donate all three of the items above or just one of them. The English Department will have tote bags ready to fill.

"We hope others will consider helping us make night time a bit more comfortable for children in need this season," Joyce Inman, assistant professor in English, said.

Through direct partnership with hundreds of shelters across America, Project Night Night packages are put into the hands of more than 25,000 homeless children each year.

Voted the "Best Children's Charity" by San Francisco Magazine, Project Night

Night has emerged as a leading provider of nighttime comforts for homeless children.

"Every child deserves a toy, a book and a blanket," Allison Kugel, entertainment journalist, said in a Huffington Post article.

"Darcie Conrad and I came across Allison Kugel's article in the Huffington Post and it very much moved us. We thought Project Night Night was an especially appropriate project through which the English Department can give to our local community," Inman said. "We love the idea of providing comfort and a book to homeless children here in the Hattiesburg area."

For more information about upcoming events in the College of Arts and Letters, of which the Department of English is a part, visit