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Bison Lending a Helping Hand

Contributing Writer

Published: Monday, March 4, 2013

Updated: Monday, March 4, 2013 11:03


Hundreds of Howard students gathered on Georgia Ave., chanting, “help us, help others,” to raise money for Alternative Spring Break 2013 on Sunday.

Howard University Radio, WHUR 96.3 FM, hosted the 12-hour “Helping Hands” radio-thon, in which thousands of dollars were raised for Alternative Spring Break (ASB). Students worked 2 hour shifts starting as early as 7:00 a.m. While the weather was at a gloomy, 43 degrees, ASB volunteers remained energetic throughout the day.

The sidewalks of Georgia Ave. were filled with ASB participants, from Barry Place to W Street. Volunteers were shouting and carrying bright, yellow signs and buckets all day, as cars drove by honking in support. Most students like to stay in on Sundays and recover from weekend events, but the ASB participants were out in full force.

 “It was great to be outside and to see everyone take time out and come together for this great cause,” said Taylor Davis, an ASB participant in the Memphis group.

Howard University’s ASB program has been in effect for 19 years, but in 2006 it expanded greatly as hundreds of Howard student went to New Orleans to volunteer to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. ASB has grown to where it now reaches Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, D.C., Haiti, Memphis and New Orleans.

During Alternative Spring Break, Howard students work in poor neighborhoods and schools with little resources. Each site focuses on a different issue, including literacy, gang violence, poverty, bullying, and gun violence. ASB works as a catalyst to encourage and give guidance to at-risk youth.

WHUR was essential to Sunday’s events and to the ASB program, in general. The radio-thon raised over $20,000 and the exposure that WHUR gives made this possible. Howard University radio even allowed for people to donate through their website. Since there are hundreds of volunteers, money is needed to provide transportation and shelter. The “Helping Hands” radio-thon plays a major role in making sure that the ASB program can send as many students as possible to these cities.

“Today was really important because it got the word out about ASB to the DMV area,” said Kasi Cage, a volunteer in the ASB Detroit group.

Howard University is known for service. Spring Break is supposed to be a break from work, but every year, Howard students give up their break to help others. Sunday’s “Helping Hands” radio-thon brought awareness and funds to Howard’s ASB program. Howard students shouted for hours, in cold weather, to demonstrate their commitment to this cause. If interested in donating, go to and click on the Helping Hands banner. Donations can also be dropped off at the radio station.

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