Gaels continue to give back to homeless during pandemic

Margaret Dougherty, Managing Editor

The Office of Mission and Ministry (OMM) coordinated their first Midnight Run of the semester on Aug. 27.  

This service trip offered students the opportunity to give foodclothing and companionship to the homeless of New York City 

OMM organized the event by splitting it into three shifts. The first two shifts consisted of seven to eight students who worked on arranging the materials for the trip in the End Zone located in LaPenta Student Union. One group packed clothing and various toiletry items. The other group made sandwiches and put together bagged lunches. The final shift comprised of 12 students who packed the goods into vans and drove into Manhattan at night. 

This Midnight Run was carried out differently than those in past years because of COVID-19 health concerns. OMM took a lot of precaution and modified the event to make sure everything went smoothly and safely.  

Students were separated into two vans where they could socially distance, and wore protective gearInstead of directly handing the materials to the homeless as done in the past, the items were placed s on a table where people could come and collect their materials. This method allowed everyone to stay six feet apart. The students also limited their number of stops to two, but still served about 40 people. 

Despite these changes, Katie Feeney, a junior and the Campus Minister responsible for leading the Midnight Run, was enthused by her first experience in charge of the event.  

“I was very nervous, but all of the students were willing to adhere to the guidelines, which made everything less stressful,” Feeney said. “It was truly amazing to watch the students enjoy themselves and still make the most out of this service, despite all of the restrictions.” 

Feeney emphasized that this unprecedented time should not prevent students from doing service, but rather encourage them to help those most in need. 

“We all know that COVID has negatively impacted the homeless population in so many ways, so it was nice to be able to give back and hopefully bring some joy to their day,” Feeney said. 

Campus Minister Chris Tinoco shared similar sentiments about the success of this unconventional Midnight Run. 

COVID made it unusual but our students did not let us down,” Tinoco said. “They came in with the same energy and passion to serve the homeless even if it was from six feet apart...Our students were probably the only people to share a conversation and respect the human dignity of those who have no one to give them hope 

The next Midnight Run will take place on Sep. 17. If you are interested in signing up, contact [email protected] or visit