September 26, 2011
Sleepout raises awareness, funds to help homeless
The ground was a little hard and the night a tad chilly, but the result made the loss of sleep worthwhile for members of Kansas State University's sophomore honorary Silver Key.
The group's 17th annual Sleepout for the Homeless, Sept. 15 at the Bosco Plaza in front of the K-State Student Union, raised $2,500 for the Manhattan Emergency Shelter Inc.
Carla Jones, Silver Key adviser and assistant vice president and senior associate dean of student life, said the amount raised was one of the highest ever for the event.
"This year's group did such an outstanding job that the mayor of Manhattan, Jim Sherow, will present them with an award for outstanding community service at the Oct. 4 legislative session of the City Commission," Jones said.
Silver Key members do more than just sleep outside during the event, Jones said.
"Students hear from speakers about homelessness," she said. "We also have icebreakers and games, some studying, a little sleeping and lots of team bonding."
Silver Key members secure pledges before the event. The work actually starts in the summer, as they seek donations from their hometowns and from Manhattan residents and businesses. Jones said anyone who would like to make a donation may still do so by contacting her at 785-532-7305.
Silver Key emphasizes community service. Members are selected in the late spring of their freshman year at K-State. To be eligible, they must have at least a 3.0 grade point average. Along with its signature event, the Sleepout for the Homeless, the group has been involved with highway cleanup, food drives and helping children and the elderly.