Student activist group UConn PIRG hosted a charity showcase on Tuesday to raise funds and awareness for the hungry and homeless population. The showcase included student acapella and dance clubs and featured two guest speakers. The event collected donations to benefit the Windham No Freeze project.
“We’ve been working all semester to put together an experience to educate and raise awareness about poverty,” PIRG representative Alicia Moore said. “We also wanted to showcase the talent of UConn students for a good cause.”
The UConn Charity Showcase is part of UConn PIRG’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week.
“40 million adults and 12 million children in the United States struggle with hunger insecurity,” UConn alum Jaime S. Foster from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity said.
Foster used the term “hunger insecurity” to describe people who have issues getting food to the table.
Foster recommended students raise awareness, conduct personal research, donate and/or volunteer at a local food bank.
The Windham No Freeze Executive Director, Leigh Duffy also gave a talk about the homeless population in Connecticut.
Windham is the poorest county in Connecticut, Duffy said. No Freeze is a harm reduction shelter that judges nobody and creates as safe, judgment-free space for anyone who visits Duffy said.
“Our mission is to save lives,” Duffy said.
Duffy also mentioned Connecticut’s goal is to make sure every homeless person in the state has a place to live in the next couple of years.
Duffy said one of the biggest issues the homeless face is the social stigmas and stereotypes surrounding poverty.
Duffy invited UConn students to volunteer at the No Freeze Shelter to help check-in people, talk to them, and help out around the shelter to get a better understanding of the situation of those staying in the shelter.
In addition to the presentations, Rubyfruit Acapella, Notes Over Storrs, and UConn Chordials all performed acapella sets. The Rubyfruit Acapella set included “Seven Nation Army” by White Stripes. Notes Over Storrs’ set included “Supernova” by Ansel Elgort. The UConn Chordials set included “Sunday Candy” by Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiments. The Irish Dance team performed to “Jingle Bell Rock” and a Gaelic version of “Wake Me Up” by Avicii, while UConn Ballroom performed rhythmic and Latin dance routines.