Lined up along Georgia Avenue and 4th street, Howard University students and the staff of WHUR 96.3 FM held signs, flagged down cars on red lights and stopped people on sidewalks to collect donations from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to go towards Food2Feed, an annual fundraiser which helps feed families during Thanksgiving.
Now in their 38th year of hosting Food2Feed, WHUR’s efforts raised $77,433 this year. Though they beat last year’s mark of $75,000, the icing on the cake was that for the first time they were able to hold the fundraiser at the Mecca.
“I personally feel it’s not a new location because wherever we go, WHUR is always in our heart. Howard University is always in our heart no matter where we position ourselves. We’re really at home.” said Triscina Grey, who has been working for the station as a mid-day personality for WHUR for the past 25 years.
“Of course we can’t save the world, but whatever we can do, we’ll make a difference to so many families.”
Donations were also accepted via credit card on the website at Food2Feed.org and using the phone number 202-462-0285.
Last year the day long fundraiser took place at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. Before that, the station held the fundraiser primarily at the Old Post Office Pavilion which is currently being renovated as a Donald Trump Hotel.
“Bringing it here to the Howard University community just makes sense, and it even saves us lots of money and we can even raise more money to help needy families,” Renee Nash, WHUR director of news and public affairs said.
Part of the reason the station made the change to Howard was because of the renovations at the Old Post Office Pavilion, but also to cut operational costs such as generators and heating outside. Even so, 100 percent of the proceeds from the fundraiser will be split between the Capital Area Food Bank and Shabach Ministries.
“It’s truly are biggest event of the year,” Sean Plater, deputy manager of WHUR said.
“We serve the community with a radio station that plays great music and that entertains, but at the core of who we are, it’s about service to the community. If we don’t help people than why are we here?”
Donators were able to bring money or even non perishable items. With the money, WHUR will buy food to make Thanksgiving baskets to give to the Capital Area Food Bank and Shabach Ministries. The station usually hold the fundraiser as close as they can to the Thanksgiving holiday in order to have time to do that. According to Plater, the WHUR staff will go buy all the food by the end of the week, and distribute the baskets starting next week. In past years, the non perishable items have also been able to help families past Thanksgiving.
“Everyone deserves a Thanksgiving dinner. There’s no excuse as to why you can’t spend some of your time giving back especially when you’re on campus,” student volunteer Everette Hamilton, a sophomore biology major said.
Hamilton volunteered at the sign-in table for the fundraiser from 8:00am-10:00am before her classes started. Volunteering to help others is exactly what Plater wanted students to come out and do since the event was on campus.
“A lot of times it’s not just the homeless it’s just working homeless. You have people that go to work every day but just can’t afford to eat. It could be you. You never know when you’ll fall on hard times,” Plater said.
“They [Shabach] serve a lot of the Maryland side and Capital Area serves a lot of the D.C. side, so they have proven to be two of the greatest organizations in the area. We see the work they do beyond this event and those are the people