FAMU receives $15K in donations to help homeless students
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida A&M University received $15,000 in donations to help 300 students who are homeless or facing homelessness, according to a press release.
During the FAMU National Alumni Association Distinguished Awards Banquet before the Florida Classic, event chair Doris L. Hicks presented a $10,000 check to the university to help those students, FAMU says.
Hicks says a recent encounter with a church bus filled with homeless men and women in her hometown of Lakeland inspired her to make the donation for struggling students. Hicks, who is the president of the Polk County Alumni Chapter and FAMU NAA National Scholarship Program chair, donates to the Student Emergency Fund every month.
She said she wanted to do more.
“I started raising money after seeing those homeless people,” she said. “I sent letters; I called my friends; I asked everybody I met - people I knew and people I didn’t know. It is important to me.”
Shortly after Hicks presented the big check on Friday, Nov. 19, Miami-Dade Commissioner Oliver Gilbert stepped up and gave an additional $5,000 to help students in need.
Gilbert himself said he experienced homelessness while he was a FAMU student.
“I slept in my car for a semester,” Gilbert said.
The coronavirus pandemic increased the need for donations, since students’ hardships have been amplified during these times, according to Shawnta Friday-Stroud, vice president for University Advancement and the executive director of the FAMU Foundation.
“We are hearing about more cases of students who are either homeless or near homeless,” Friday-Stroud said. “This makes a big difference.”
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