New program allows students to donate points to homeless

GW students now can help the homeless by donating their meal plan points.

A new system allows students to donate points to a fund used to purchase food at Miriam’s Kitchen for homeless people.

The food and other essentials will be chosen based on a wish list prepared by the kitchen listing useful items. Donations are collected in increments of $5 at the Provisions Market counter.

Chris Voss, chairman of the SA Dining Services Committee, organized the point-donation program with Lyle Vaughan, assistant director for Auxiliary and Institutional Services.

It is appropriate for students who feel that they have points they can spare and give them to a good cause, Vaughan said.

While students have initiated donation programs in the past, Vaughan said the new point system is different from other charitable efforts.

It is new to GW to give donations in such a high-tech creative manner, Vaughan said. Old programs included putting food in bins.Voss said the system, which was implemented in late October, will run indefinitely.

Ideally, students will be able to donate all year-round, Voss said.

Voss said he expects the program will get a big boom, starting with a strong advertising push. He and other organizers said they hope to raise $5,000 for Miriam’s Kitchen.

Voss said he hopes that the program will lead the University to establish a GW day at Miriam’s Kitchen.

At this GW day students can serve a meal paid for by students, Voss said. Students would also be able to hand out packets of basic necessities, including toothbrushes.

This will be more than just donating money, Voss said.

Voss said the idea for the point-donation program began last semester when he overheard students mention they were uncomfortable giving money to homeless people. The students did not know if money would be spent on food but still felt bad about not giving anything to the homeless, Voss said.

Voss said the new donation system gives students the assurance that their money is being used to feed the homeless.

Miriam’s Kitchen was chosen because of its close proximity to GW at 2401 Virginia Ave., Voss said.

There are only so many times that you can walk by someone who is hungry and not do something, Voss said. It is time for GW to give back.

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