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Students fundraise for Center for the Homeless

| Sunday, November 9, 2014

Saint Mary’s students from Dr. Terri Russ’ Public Communications class participated in the fundraiser, College Dancing with Our Stars, on Thursday for the South Bend Center for the Homeless.

Saint Mary’s junior Lauren Hlavin said the fundraiser brought students from Notre Dame, Holy Cross and Saint Mary’s together in an effort to raise money for the center as the winter months approach.

The fundraiser also advocated for the work the Center for the Homeless does in the community, Hlavin said. Emily Sims, the director of events, media and donor relations for the center, organized the fundraiser and recruited participants from the schools, Hlavin said.

According to the Center for the Homeless website, the center links men, women and children with programs, agencies and people in an effort to break the cycle of homelessness.

To raise money for the center, each school’s group of participants choreographed a dance which was performed in front of three judges, Hlavin said. Attendees voted for the different dances, with each vote representing a $10 donation, she said.

unnamedgPhoto courtesy of Lauren Hlavin
“I love to bust a move, and that was definitely the place to be,” Hlavin said. “Doing it for such a great cause only made it that much better. … The atmosphere was electric, and everyone was having the best time.”

Saint Mary’s senior Morgan Carroll said the teams from the different schools competed to raise the most money for the center in the form of votes or donations placed before the event. The money raised will be used to support guests at the Center for the Homeless, she said.

“It costs the center around $40 a day for every guest living with them,” Carroll said. “Given the high number of guests at the center, the money needed adds up quickly.”

Hlavin, Carroll and fellow communications students work with members of the center every Tuesday, Hlavin said.

“I think the biggest impact we’ve made that I’ve been able to personally notice is letting their voices be heard,” Hlavin said. “When my classmates and I arrive at 5 p.m. every Tuesday, we see their faces light up because they know we’re here for them.”

Working with the Center for the Homeless makes in-class lessons about homelessness a reality, Carroll said.

“It is easier for the volunteers to understand why the vicious cycle of poverty exists today and understand the ways in which we can combat this harsh reality,” she said.

Carroll said she enjoyed preparing for and participating in the fundraiser. She said she is grateful for the work the center provides to the South Bend community.

“Knowing that our class was able to make the difference between sleeping on the streets or putting a roof over someone’s head was rewarding on so many levels,” Carroll said. “The dancing was just a plus.”

Hlavin said the fundraiser raised close to $2,000 for the Center.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better evening with friends, food and philanthropy,” she said.

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About Kathryn Marshall

Kathryn Marshall, Saint Mary's College '17, is a Biology and Humanistic Studies double major. Follow Kathryn on Twitter @kmarshallSMC

Contact Kathryn