USM office to help area’s homeless with homecoming service project

The project will give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to bag lunches that will be...
The project will give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to bag lunches that will be distributed to community partners who serve the homeless population in the Hattiesburg area.(WDAM Staff)
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 8:24 AM CDT
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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI PRESS RELEASE

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - One small act can have a major impact on the lives of people in need.

This is the message the University of Southern Mississippi’s Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement hopes to convey with a special Homecoming Day of Service project.

The event, titled #HashtagLunchbag, is set for Oct. 13, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the IME multipurpose space in the University’s Hub building.

The project will give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to bag lunches that will be distributed to community partners who serve the homeless population in the Hattiesburg area.

IME Events and Volunteerism Coordinator Christina Bracey said sandwich lunches will be prepared, which will include a fully dressed sandwich, a bag of chips, a piece of fruit, cookies and a water bottle. Materials for each lunch will be provided via donations from campus and community partners, including Aramark, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Winn-Dixie.

Bracey said the benefits gained from a humanitarian effort of this kind cannot be overstated.

“It is important because it gives USM students, faculty and staff a chance to serve the community their institution is surrounded by,” said Bracey. “It teaches an individual about the importance of how one small act can have a big impact on the lives of people around you.”

“It brings people together and creates a sense of pride for service among people who may be different but are working toward the same goal. There is instant gratification when anyone participates in this type of service event.”

Like many cities across the United States, Bracey says the homeless population in Hattiesburg is “heartbreakingly high.”

“There are about five different community partners we work with each year who serve the homeless population here because there is such a need for them,” said Bracey. “We hosted Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week last November, and it was a success. So, we will be back in the fall to continue serving our homeless community in whatever way we can.”

IME hopes to compile up to 1,000 lunches for the Oct. 13 event, depending upon donations.

Community partners in the venture include Christian Services, Aldersgate Mission and Edwards Street Fellowship Thrift Store among several others.

To learn more about the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement at USM, click HERE.

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