On Sat., Aug. 17 a group of 18 Union College students went down to the Haymarket before the victorious football game between the Huskers and the Oregon Ducks, but the real action happened right before the game.
Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach is a faith-based hunger relief program serving homeless men, women and children two meals a day all year long. They teamed up with over 600 volunteers from different schools and churches for the 20th annual Huskers Helping the Homeless, and this was Union’s sixth year getting involved with the program.
Volunteers started the day off at Matt Talbot Kitchen, where they got free t-shirts and empty milk jugs to collect cash, then spread themselves at various street corners downtown in hopes of raising money for the soup kitchen.
Junior nursing major Mary Anne Birai shares how she had quite the experience while participating. “It caused me to be more confident in asking people to help,” she says. While usually having drunk fans from the opposing team come up to you isn’t the most appealing thing, one man was able to help her group and teach Union students a few things.
“One of the Oregon fans came up to me and took the sign I was holding.” Unsure of what was going to happen next, Birai hesitantly let the fan do so.
Flailing her arms back and forth, she describes the drunk fan in an exaggerated way. “He slowly took the sign, raised it over his head and started yelling at everyone to give to the homeless. Pretty soon he was calling over lots of people to our area and we were able to raise about $70 in that time span.”
“He told us to be more aggressive in how we try to raise money because it was for a good cause,” comments Birai.
Overall, Union was able to raise $500 for the Matt Talbot Kitchen and about $56,000 in total was raised by all groups that were there to help.
“We (Union College) are involved in some kind of service project almost every week,” explains vice president for spiritual life Rich Carlson. “Whether it’s Huskers helping the Homeless, Revo, Project Impact or just a simple everyday task like raking leaves or shoveling snow, we’re always there.”
Huskers for the Homeless is just another way Union is finding ways to help people in the community.
Caroline Guchu is a sophomore studying communication