The Alpha Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated is dedicated to service on the campus of Florida A&M University and its surrounding community. Members of the fraternity along with the student body paid homage to the homeless across the nation by making a selfless sacrifice to sleep outside for a night.
On Dec. 2, the 12th annual Sleep Out for the Homeless event took place at the “Sigma Plot,” located between the Black Archives Museum and Coleman Library.
Senior elementary education student Byron Morrison, from Tampa, Fla. chaired the event this year. This was Morrison’s fourth Sleep Out For the Homeless, and second as a member of the chapter. He believes the event served its purpose and was very successful.
“’Sleep out’ definitely gave students an understanding of how serious the homeless epidemic is around the country,” said Morrison, “getting them involved socially by donating clothes and canned goods to the cause gave them a way to be engaged in the helping of aiding the homeless.”
Nonperishable foods and clothing were collected at the event. Over 200 articles of clothing and food to feed over 50 people were collected. Each year the chapter donates the items to a shelter or nonprofit in the area. This year’s proceeds will be given to Tallahassee ECHO (Emergency Care and Help Organization.) The faith-based human services agency is the largest of its kind in Tallahassee. Tallahassee ECHO assists more than 20,000 people each year and have been serving people in crises and poverty in Leon County since April 1981.
Michael Jefferson, a fall 2011 initiate of the Alpha Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated, from Indianapolis, IN said the turnout for the event was “great.”
“I was very surprised about the amount of people that actually came out and then stayed,” Jefferson expressed. “It was great seeing a lot of Greek organizations out there as well as other campus organizations.”
Hot chocolate was served to keep students warm in the 60-degree weather. Music and games were also provided for entertainment. Students enjoyed themselves, but the message was not lost.
Kionna Randall, a first year health info management student said she enjoyed her first Sleep Out for the Homeless. She said the event was fun and looks forward to attending next year. “As my first event with the Sigmas, this was pretty fun. They were friendly and nice to get along with.”