Herd for the Homeless

The Marshall University Alumni Association has issued a call for Marshall University alumni, faculty and students, as well as Huntington community members, to join in “Herd for the Homeless,” a community volunteer event to be hosted by the MUAA. It will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Huntington. 

“We hope to educate the MU community and raise awareness about homelessness in the Huntington area, and have this serve as a launch event for our alumni clubs around the U.S. so they can begin incorporating community service in their annual activity plans,” said Matt Hayes, executive director of the association. “We intend to lead by example.” 

The event will include breakfast and lunch served to the homeless as well as distribution of coats, socks and other winter items. 


Missy Clagg Browning, an employee of Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine who is assisting with the planning, said that volunteers will be needed Nov. 5 as follows:

From 9 to 11 a.m. to help with setting up, sorting coat donations, and serving breakfast with the River Cities Street Ministry;

  • From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to assist with serving a tailgate-style luncheon to Huntington’s homeless community and distributing coats and winter items;
  • From 1 to 2 p.m. for preparing any excess coats for transport to the partnering agencies and cleaning up the dining hall. 

“ ‘Herd for the Homeless’ is a wonderful opportunity for individuals and groups to make an impact on the local homeless community and experience the rewarding feeling that comes from helping others,” Browning said. 

In addition to Trinity Episcopal serving as host, donations have already been received from Woodmen Life, as well as INTO Marshall, Marshall Health, Source4 and private donations. 

There are other ways to help in advance of the event, she added. Churches and other groups can sponsor a coat drive and/or drop off new or gently used coats for men, women and children. Groups or individuals can collect or donate gloves, socks and peanut butter or an item to give away at the event. 

The coats and winter items that aren't distributed the day of the event will be divided among the event’s partnering agencies, which include the Huntington City Mission, Harmony House and Cridlin Food and Clothing Pantry. The peanut butter will be donated to stock the Facing Hunger Foodbank. 

“As alumni of Marshall University we have been given much,” Hayes said, “and we have an outstanding opportunity to give back to our gracious alma mater and respective communities by engaging with local agencies to meet the basic human needs of those around us.” 

For more information and for a listing of local drop-off locations for coats and other donations, visit the event page on Facebook by searching for “Herd for the Homeless," contact Browning via Facebook or at clagg11@marshall.edu or check out this brief video about the event.

Please visit the "Herd for Homeless" Amazon Wish List for items to donate.

Herd for the Homeless Wish List