Athens, GA- UGA football players are trying to help the homeless in their own way. Players Mike Thornton, Brandon Burrows, and Michael Bennett decided to take matters into their own hands. Burrows and Thornton went to downtown Athens last night and planned to hand out sweatshirts, sweatpants, shirts, and a few pairs of shoes they had received from the team over the years. Bennett gave some of his items for Burrows and Thornton to take downtown as well.
Mike Thornton told us, “I really didn’t do it for media attention, it was just super cold and I felt bad.” Thornton even tweeted yesterday saying, “Thinkn bout the homeless tonight. Saddens me to know that they have to endure this weather…I need to make something shake.”
The players did not come across any un-housed persons to give the clothing to, however they are planning to go back out tonight and hope to find individuals to donate the items to.
Many homeless people may not have been out in the cold last night due to help from the Bigger Vision shelter. This organization operates from October through April, but this year they have received help in these harsh temperatures. Athens First United Methodist Church opened their doors to allow for the overflow from Bigger Vision shelter to stay there for the night. They are also providing breakfast and dinner for the guests with donations they have received over the past few months. Last night the church took in around 15 people, allowing 43 to stay at the shelter. Tonight the shelter is expecting about 50 guests, with 10 to 15 expected at the church.
Fifteen to 2o volunteers donated their time in addition to others who helped by bringing in blankets, clothes, coffee, and food to the shelter and church. Local Athens restaurants Church’s Chicken and Steak and Shake also pitched in by donating food.