|SARASOTA, Fla. (Jan. 14, 2022) – The USF Sarasota-Manatee campus contributed hundreds of personal hygiene items to area homeless on Thursday as part of an MLK Day of Service event ahead of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. |
Faculty, staff and students from the Honors College, working at tables in the campus’ FCCI Rotunda, packed the items – including soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, razors and deodorant – into plastic bags.
“It feels good helping people,” senior psychology major Brandie Teachey said. “It’s a nice way to give back.”
More than 150 bags were filled. The items were collected on the campus starting in December.
Darren Gambrell, assistant director of the campus’ Office of Multicultural Affairs, delivered the bags to the Turning Points homeless assistance agency on 17th Avenue West in Bradenton and the Salvation Army shelter on 14th Street West in Sarasota.
The intent, he said, was to provide the items ahead of time to distribute on or before Monday’s holiday.
“The whole campus really came together,” Gambrell said. “We received more items than I expected, but that doesn’t surprise me. USF always steps up when it comes to reaching out to help others. That’s what this campus is about.”
The effort comes as campuses and colleges across USF marked the upcoming holiday with similar acts of outreach and charity. USF formally kicked off the MLK celebration on Friday with a Stampede of Service event. Throughout the month, students will participate in community service projects at eight Tampa Bay locations.
On Friday, USF students sorted food items at the Feeding Tampa Bay warehouse and served hot meals at Trinity Café, a Feeding Tampa Bay restaurant for those in need. A full list of activities can be found on the MLK Commemorative Week webpage.
Cayla Lanier, campus director at the Judy Genshaft Honors College at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, worked with Gambrell to recruit student volunteers.
“For me, it’s about building community, and our students agree, which is why we volunteered for this MLK Day of Service,” Lanier said. “It’s also a time for our students to get together after class to bond while supporting the community, which is important. It’s nice to give back and help others.”###
|About the University of South Florida |
The University of South Florida, a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success, generates an annual economic impact of more than $6 billion. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.