MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – What started as a simple assignment for a pair of Mount Vernon students has swiftly turned into a citywide initiative to help feed the hungry through the influence of social media.
Earlier this year, students at Nelson Mandela/Hosea Zollicoff High School were assigned to write an essay identifying an international issue and a potential solution for that problem, sparking the imagination of students Joshua Cotton and Randdy Chavez.
Cotton and Chavez identified homeless people going hungry as the problem, and proposed a solution utilizing the far-reaching influence of social media.
The students started the “Feed the Homeless” challenge that began this weekend. Students made care packages for the homeless population at Penn Station, complete with homemade lunches, toiletries and clothing.
In an effort to encourage the community to engage in similar acts, the students then uploaded videos to social media of themselves volunteering and the delivering more than 100 packages to Manhattan.
According to Cotton, the students chose Friday the 13th to begin their crusade because it’s a day widely considered to be unlucky. They hope to “instead make Friday the 13th a day connected to generosity and paying it forward.”
“I know people do care and want to help, but they may not know how,” he said. “After watching our video on social media, hopefully they will know where to start.”
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