Holding out a helping hand for the homeless

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November 6, 2017

11:08 PM

The cold typically has me thinking of the Sunken Garden blanketed in snow or the continuance of our holiday season. And that is not a wrong thing — it is very easy to think even more inwardly as the temperature drops and we huddle closer to ourselves. Furthermore, our status as students, especially during finals, keeps all thoughts directed toward our performance on exams, followed by plans over break.

So it is again easy, then, to forget about those away from our school, but still in our Williamsburg community, that see the cold as a challenge to their lives.

The homeless and those in need in our city are a significant group, but they are also a rarely discussed one. One of their primary outlets for help is the House of Mercy, located just feet away from Zable Stadium. The House works impartial to religion and serves all who come through its doors through a variety of programs. The service also works to alleviate medical copay burdens on participating members. They do all this through donations and volunteers from a wide and caring range of Williamsburg residents. For years, the House has been a staple in the community that at-risk, single residents and families can rely on for a warm bed, food and clothes in the trying winter months. It is important to note that those in need participants of the House’s programs are contributing members of society, many of whom have jobs. However, as a House informational video states, “one flat tire or one sick kid” can put those in need over the edge, causing them to default on payments and lose housing or the ability to put food on a table.

Thankfully, though, the College of William and Mary is an untapped mine of giving and caring people who enjoy helping those in need.

Next week, from Nov. 13 to Nov. 19, the College will keep these community members in mind with a clothing drive on campus. Consider donating old clothes or unused toiletries to donation boxes found in your dorms and general areas around the College. The House of Mercy is partnering with the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, which will head up this effort and accept all given clothes or other items. They especially appreciate jackets and unused toiletries, like razors, deodorant or shaving cream.

This effort is a way for us to aid and think of those residents who are not as fortunate as we are. All people are not created equal. Some are born into lives that are far harder than others. They face challenges that have not even crossed the minds of others. The homeless and at-risk in Williamsburg are a kind and driven people. They fight through these far harder lifestyles seeking better ones, either for themselves or the families they have fighting with them. Organizations like the House of Mercy are some of our nation’s most noble and notable. They offer a helping, caring hand to these unfortunate people who are only trying to make it.

Your donation will be given directly to the House. It has, no matter what you choose to give, the potential to help a struggling member of our community weather these colder months. It is incredibly easy to let slip from our minds the idea of some people having less, through no volition of their own. The less fortunate, who always outnumber our estimates, rely on organizations like these to help them get through trying times. For every reason we love our College, let us also look after the community it resides in.

Email Caleb Rogers at [email protected]

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