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Kansas State University
128 Dole Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-2535
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Sources: Carla Jones, 785-532-6432, cjones@k-state.edu;
and Dillon Robbins, robbins@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Rosie Hoefling, 785-532-6415, media@k-state.edu

Thursday Sept. 17, 2009

K-STATE SILVER KEY STUDENTS TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT HOMELESSNESS

MANHATTAN -- For most Kansas State University students, Bosco Plaza in front of the K-State Student Union is simply a place they pass daily walking to and from class. However, for a small group of sophomore students, it will be the place they spend the night.

Members of K-State's sophomore honorary, Silver Key, will host the annual Sleepout for the Homeless on the Bosco Plaza beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, and ending at 6 a.m. Friday, Sept. 25. The philanthropic event is to raise awareness about the issue of homelessness.

K-State's Carla Jones, Silver Key adviser, said that the event will have much more on the itinerary than simply sleeping.

"The actual sleepout is an event where the students hear speakers about homelessness," Jones said. "There are icebreakers and games, some studying, some sleeping, and lots of team bonding. There are no actual funds collected at the sleepout."

The fundraising takes place leading up to the event, as members raise money and gather donations for the Manhattan Emergency Shelter Inc. The 38 Silver Key members worked to raise money in their hometown communities all summer, and have continued their efforts in Manhattan with residents and local businesses.

According to Dillon Robbins, sophomore in pre-professional business administration, Oskaloosa, and Silver Key vice president, the donations can either be financial or in the form of products that the shelter provides to its visitors.

"The donations raised either in monetary or necessity items like personal hygiene, cleaning or food items, all will be donated to the shelter to help lower some of the expenses that they encounter every day to stay open," he said.

The shelter's services go beyond supplying hygiene products. The shelter provides their guests with a support and rehabilitation program, particularly those struggling with drugs or dealing with financial issues, Jones said. There is no specific time limit on how long visitors can stay at the shelter and there is even a transition house for clients who may need long-term assistance.

With so much past success in raising funds and awareness about homelessness, Silver Key members said they must continue to push themselves in their efforts this year.

"No matter the amount raised for the shelter, it will greatly help it financially," Robbins said. "We, however, have set a goal of raising more than $3,000 this year. The event is an annual philanthropy and will continue as long as Silver Key members are able and willing to help."

More information about the sleepout and on how to make a donation is available by contacting Jones at 785-532-6432.