Students raise money for WATTS

Rachel Stalker, ‘Doah Staff Writer
November 6, 2013

'Doah photo courtesy of Amanda Shenk

‘Doah photo courtesy of Amanda Shenk

On Friday Nov. 1, students, staff, faculty, trustees, local church members and the president of the university slept in boxes and tents on the quad to raise money for the Winchester Area Temporary Thermal Shelter, or WATTS.

WATTS is a local organization run by local churches each week of the winter. They serve a hot meal and give those in our community who are without a home and a warm meal a place to stay for the night. This winter, WATTS will be running for 18 weeks, and Shenandoah students will be volunteering on Sunday afternoons to serve dinner.

Senior Alex Woody organized this fundraiser. Woody started S.U.’s involvement with WATTS during her freshman year, when she fell in love with the organization. “It costs WATTS about $10 per person, per night to provide for those who use their services,” stated Woody. “I wanted to do something to raise money for them.” Woody, along with Spiritual Life employees and members, were able to raise over $6,000 for WATTS — their goal was only $5,000.

Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons also slept in a tent in the Quad on Friday night. When asked why this fundraiser is so important for this community, Fitzsimmons replied, “Wouldn’t we all want someone to stand up for us? When we need someone’s help, we hope someone steps up to help us. And they hope we would do the same for them.” President Fitzsimmons also stated that she is “proud of our students.”

There was a total of 24 students, 15 faculty and staff members, and two church members who spent the night outside on Friday. Junior Carrie Cook stated that she has been helping Woody with this since her freshman year. Cook wanted to participate in this fundraiser because she “wanted to do more than just serving food for two hours. I wanted to serve by lending my time and money.” Senior Nick Ruxton said he wanted to “have my eyes opened to people’s living condition and to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness, since we are a school that reaches out to the community.” Freshman Josh Wax wanted to be a part of this fundraiser because he wants to keep this program going and he “wants to keep WATTS an active part of the Shenandoah community.”

Dean of Spiritual Life Justin Allen had a final comment on the fundraiser. He stated, “I’m just so proud. There’s nothing else to say. We have students who decided that they would raise $100 for people they’ll never meet. It just shows Shenandoah’s heart.”

If you want to help serve WATTS, look to your SUN-e, or email spirituallife@su.edu for more information.

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