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Siegfried shivers for homeless

| Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Siegfried Hall’s 8th annual “Day of Man” will give hall residents a chance to shiver for a cause Wednesday as they brave the cold in shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops while collecting donations for the South Bend Center for the Homeless, Day of Man co-commissioner and junior Thomas Ridella said.

“It’s one of the largest community service events that I’ve participated in,” Ridella said. “It’s really cool doing it with all your friends and doing something that’s really different and unique. … We’re just doing our part by taking a day, not even a day, out of our time, which is something small, to make a big contribution.”

Siegfried Hall president and sophomore Drew Vista said the event encourages hall residents “to stand in solidarity with other people and bring the cause to the attention of the other students at Notre Dame.”

“The most important part of the event is that even though it’s a fun thing to do for a day and even though it’s cold, it’s for a really good cause,” Vista said. “Once we hear from the people from the homeless shelter, it makes us feel that what we did was that much more special.”

Peter Lombardo, director of community involvement at the South Bend Center for the Homeless, spoke to students gathered for Mass in Siegfried on Sunday. He said funds from Day of Man support academic and enrichment programs at the Center for the Homeless and will help kickstart a nutrition program initiated this year by juniors Kathleen Anthony and Sienna Durbin.

“Thank you for risking a trip to the student health center for the Center for the Homeless,” Lombardo said. “The work we do is pretty much aimed at reconnecting [residents], reconnecting them to the sources of support that we all have.

“We’re lucky we have family and friends that we can depend on, and they don’t have them. Some of them don’t have them because they’ve broken them themselves, yes, that’s true, but the Center for the Homeless wants to reconnect them, and any help that you can give goes to that.”

Sophomore Jack Szigety said the event also provides a way for Siegfried residents to strengthen their own community while reaching out to South Bend.

“The best part of the event for me anyway is the solidarity of it,” Szigety said. “You don’t stand only with the homeless people who don’t have as fortunate a situation as we do, but you also stand with your dorm, your fellow men, to get together for a cause.”

Ridella said the initial slogan used for the first Day of Man, “Be cold. Be bold. Be a man,” would be featured on the back of the neon blue T-shirt hall residents will wear to class and outside the dining halls Wednesday. Vista said plans for Day of Man would continue no matter how low the temperatures drop, as the hall typically raises more funds in frigid weather.

“I don’t know if there is a temperature that’s too cold,” Vista said. “Probably anything that would be physically unsafe for more than five minutes of exposure would be too cold. Other than that, the colder the better.”

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About Lesley Stevenson

Lesley Stevenson is a senior news writer for The Observer after previously serving as News Editor and an Assistant Managing Editor. She is a senior from Memphis, Tennessee, studying Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) and American Studies and living in Breen-Phillips Hall. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @lcstevenson, and visit her website at lcstevenson.wordpress.com

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