Hampton University

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HU Seniors Walk to Help Homeless

HU students L to R Randall Thompson, Chaka Williams, Keyunna Lawrence,
Emily Wilson, Ashley Moore, Kendra Lloyd, Brandon Starkes

Hampton University’s Mr. Senior, Brandon Starkes, and six other Hamptonians participated in the “Help the Homeless” walk in Washington, D.C. in November. The walk is sponsored by FannieMae, which donates $50 to the cause for each person on a team who participates. Students raised money on an off campus to cover travel expenses to the District of Columbia.

“My main focal point as (Mr. Senior) was to do community service projects,” Starkes said. “I wanted to offer some good publicity for the university due to all the negative publicity we’ve gotten lately. It’s important for us to be seen in the light that is most consistent with us.”

Money raised from the event will go to charitable organizations in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, according to the Help the Homeless website. HU students’ contribution was $700.

Since its inception in 1988, the program has become the nation’s largest fund-raising collaboration focused on homelessness, according to its website. The Help the Homeless Program, which culminates each year with the Walkathon the Saturday before Thanksgiving, has raised more than $75 million for nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area that serve homeless people, and those at risk of becoming homeless.


HU students participate in a
"Help The Homeless" walk in Washington, DC.

The five-mile walk held Nov. 21, was centered around the Washington, D.C. National Mall area, Starks said, and an estimated 30,000 attended. Starkes, who is from Bowie, Md., said it was important for him to give back to this area because of its large minority population.

“The population there is majority black,” Starkes said. “Service is very important. It’s how you learn character. Without being in someone else’s shoes, you can learn form them. Talking to someone who is homeless gives me a small, small idea of what it’s like, but it counts.”

-Leha Byrd