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A sleepout for the homeless

Members of Phi Beta Sigma host their annual event to raise money for the homeless.

MUNCIE, Ind. --- The Phi Beta Sigma Chapter at Ball State University spent 24 hours outside on the corner of McKinley and Riverside to raise money and collect donations for the homeless.

The event is held every year around Thanksgiving and the group has hosted the event for over 20 years. The chapter asks for monetary donations, food, clothing, water and hygiene products. Last year they were able to raise $2,000. At 9 p.m. Wednesday the chapter had already raised $2,500. 

Jared Martin, past president and current member of Phi Beta Sigma, took part in his fourth ‘Sleepout for the Homeless’ event this year. Over the past four years, Martin said he learned that empathy means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. 

“Most of us will get chairs, use two chairs, put our heads on the table. We typically don’t sleep until like 3 a.m. because it’s high energy,” Martin said. 

During the event, members stay outside at the scramble light all throughout the night. Vice President of Membership Jalen Jones experienced his first year at the sleepout Wednesday.

“It’s something to brag about because like we’re really making a difference and like I’m happy that I can be a part of that difference,” Jones said. 

The members of Phi Beta Sigma held signs up at the scramble light to get people’s attention. Their tent was complete with a stereo playing music while many members danced and sang together.

“We’re all here. It’s a full fledge effort,” Martin said.  

Martin said he hopes everyone will keep the tradition of spreading awareness. All the proceeds went to the Muncie Civic Organization.

Contact Katherine Sehgal with comments at klsehgal@bsu.edu