Project Stay assists local shelter over holiday


Terri-Lynn Frasher

John Pugh, a homeless man in Joplin, partakes in a Thansgiving meal provided by the Watered Gardens shelter on Wednesday, November 25.

Project Stay participated in a month long community service project with local shelter Watered Gardens.

Throughout the month of November, students in the program could donate five food items to receive a bonus point, which helps them receive their semester scholarships.

A total of 291 items were collected by the due date on Monday, Nov. 24, though that is not where the giving ended.

The following day, Watered Gardens hosted a Thanksgiving meal for the community members they service, and Project Stay was on hand to help serve those in need.

Shavonne McCoy, a senior sociology major and administrative assistant for Project Stay, was impressed with the turnout.

“We had 18 students that stepped up and were willing to help and one student [Janelle De Preste] even stayed all day,” McCoy said.

Established on June 1, 20

00, Watered Gardens does much more than just shelter the homeless.

“We are an outreach that helps with food, hygiene, clothing, furniture and shelter,” said April O’Neil, the shelte

r office manager. “It’s a safe place for people to come feel the love of Jesus.”

John Pugh, a chronically homeless man in Joplin, has been coming to the shelter for the last 14 years.

“I have been coming here ever since they opened,” said Pugh. “Before that, I just slept outside on the ground.”