Here in Manresa, our students strive to be “men and women for and with others.” Recently, our Scholars partnered with Fordham’s Global Outreach Program (GO!). We joined them on their Midnight Run Service Project in Manhattan. Midnight Run is an organization in which different civic groups work together to provide New York’s homeless with food, clothing, and other necessities. Although Fordham only participates once a month, the organization runs a trip every night.
We began the night by talking about the common stereotypes given to homeless people, and then got to work sorting the clothing donations that had been collected. We loaded up the vans with the clothing and the sandwiches and headed into Manhattan.
We stopped at three designated spots in Manhattan where homeless people usually congregate. For our group, the most populated spot was right in front of Penn Station. People came up to us asking for pants and for sneakers, as these are the items that New York’s homeless tend to need most. Moreover, the homeless people we met with had fostered strong communities among themselves. They helped each other find clothes that would fit them, and one man gave us some sweaters that he didn’t need anymore because of the warming weather. This man recognized that other people in his community might use them more than he could, even though he owned practically nothing.
During the Midnight Run, we were for and with the homeless: helping them and getting to know them as people, and not as the stereotypes that society forces on them.
Nicole Benevento, FCRH 2017
Manresa Student Intern