MSSU Students Living in Boxes, Taking Donations for Watered Gard - KOAM TV 7

MSSU Students Living in Boxes, Taking Donations for Watered Gardens


The number of homeless people in Joplin increased in the last year. A group of Missouri Southern students look to make a statement and give back by living like the homeless do.
Members of the fraternity Kappa Sigma piece together cardboard boxes. They're constructing the shelters they will live in for 48 hours.
“I won’t lie to you, it gets cold out here, it is fall so it will probably 30 or 40 degrees at night but we'll bring sleeping bags out we'll bring a bunch of blankets out and we’ll make the best of it,” says Duncan Street, a senior at MSSU.
He secures boxes with zip ties and duct tape, this is his 4th time doing the Great Box Build Off, the fraternity’s annual philanthropy event.
“We'll take non-perishable items like canned goods, we’ll take clothing and we'll also take monetary donations over the next 2 to 3 days and all of those proceeds will go to Watered Gardens,” he says.
In years past, they've donated $1,000 worth of goods. The shelter at Watered Gardens is currently full and officials say they always need donations.
“We have a great community of students from the schools here locally that are constantly reaching out to us in groups or as individuals, so things like this coat drive or whatever is going on now are wonderful and everybody wins,” says Ruth Willoughby with the mission.
After the last Homeless Coalition count in January, there were 297 homeless people in Joplin, 65 of them unsheltered. These students hope being visible on the oval at MSSU will make others realize how prevalent it is in the area.

“That’s something that at home, we can try and take care of so it’s just really a sense of pride when we can help the people that live here in our town,” says Duncan.
And after 48 hours of experiencing how the homeless live, many say they leave with a sense of appreciation for what they do have.
40 students will take part in the Great Box Build Off. They will be collecting non-perishable food items, clothing and donations for Watered Gardens on the oval until Tuesday.


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