Students spend time in shelters made of cardboard, duct tape


Cardboard boxes, duct tape and holiday lights line the porch of the Kappa Delta sorority house, where several greeks have been called home for four nights as a part of Homeless for Hunger.

The event is Alpha Tau Omega’s annual philanthropy. It benefits the Flint Hills Breadbasket and involves most of K-State’s sororities, said Jared Keating, freshman in construction science management and member of ATO.

“It is our biggest philanthropy of the year,” he said.

Keating said donations to the organization are made through Homeless for Hunger T-shirt sales and participant fees, as well as alumni donations.

The greek chapters also send volunteer collectors to ask for cans outside of Wal-Mart, he said.

Based on years past, Keating said he expects the event to raise $1,500 to $2,000 for the Flint Hills Breadbasket.

Participants are provided with cardboard and two rolls of duct tape to build a shelter that will last them four nights on the porches and lawns of the sorority houses, said Ryan Thomas, freshman in construction science management and member of ATO.

“It depends on which house you’re assigned to,” he said, “and it’s all kind of random.”

Thomas and Adam Love, freshman in kinesiology and pre-dentistry and member of ATO, said they needed eight hours to build their shelter on the porch of Kappa Delta. They said they ran out of cardboard and had to find more in dumpsters.

Other participants used pieces of cardboard to make a cave-like shelter at Kappa Alpha Theta, and members dwelling at Chi Omega used a similar setup, which functioned more as a tent.

Thomas said each group had three to five men from ATO and seven to eight women from different houses.

He said the participants were instructed to shower sparingly in order to better experience life as a homeless person.

“We have some juniors and seniors that do it religiously and hardly shower,” Thomas said.

Keating said members of ATO run food to the different groups, but sometimes group members are invited to eat at the sorority houses.

Love said the event draws a lot of participants.

“For one, it’s a fun event,” he said.

The philanthropy reminds people of the impoverished people in the area and gives them a chance to experience how they live, Keating said.