Help the Homeless Week recap

By Eric Neugeboren

The SGA ran the first Help the Homeless Week May 13-20 to benefit local homeless shelters and other organizations. Highlighted by the “Give Us Your Stuff” yard sale and 5k Color Rush, the week generated more than $6,000 for the charities.

“Give Us Your Stuff” Yard Sale

The SGA held its fifth annual “Give Us Your Stuff” Yard Sale in the Whittier Woods auditorium May 13 to benefit a local homeless shelter and AMVETS, a veterans organization.

The proceeds, which amounted to over $1,000, went to the shelter, and the SGA donated all unsold items to AMVETS. The goal of the event was to bring people together for an important cause, event coordinator Dana Gurland, a junior, said.

“This yard sale is a great way to really connect with the community and also help multiple charities at the same time,” Gurland said.

While most donors were adults, some students attended to support the charities.

“There was a really positive and inviting atmosphere,” sophomore Elise Mytelka said. “It is definitely something that I would want to do again.”

Canned Food and Toiletry Drive

The SGA also sponsored several collections for local organizations that specialize in homelessness outreach. Students brought toiletries to school May 17 to benefit the N Street Village in D.C., a community that assists homeless women. The next day, first period classes collected over 200 cans for the Manna Food Center, an organization that provides food to underprivileged families.

“Collecting cans is a good way to help the homeless because cans are really cheap and it’s an easy way to get involved in the community,” event coordinator Danielle Hazan said.

SGA rewarded Spanish teacher Kathleen Bartels’ first period with a donut party for collecting 78 cans for donation, the most of any class.

“I think donating cans is a small act that on the aggregate can make a big difference,” Bartels said. “Especially because soup kitchens in our area are looking for quality canned foods, this was a really important event to happen.”

Color Rush

The week culminated with the first ever Color Rush 5k May 20. During the run, hundreds of community members dashed through local neighborhoods while volunteers doused runners with colorful chalk.

The run, spearheaded by juniors Ray Crist and Pablo Rothschild, generated more than $5,000 for the Stepping Stones and National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) charities, which provide shelter to homeless families in Bethesda.

“We thought that the run would be a great way to bring the community closer together, raise awareness and have unity for one cause,” Rothschild said.

The event included both the 5k run and a 1-mile fun run for participants under 10 years old. Afterwards, runners enjoyed pizza, bagels and beverages.

“The event was really fun and there was a very positive vibe, which is great because it goes to a really good cause,” freshman Meera Dahiya said. “Helping the homeless just feels really good and rewarding.”