Key Club’s Third Midnight Run: Ending Stigmas Against Homelessness


Briella Donahue, Journalist

Homelessness in the United States is widely prevalent. The United States’ Department of HUD released a report in 2022 revealing that more than 580,000 people are homeless in the United States. Though homelessness has been reduced by 36% since 2010, it is clear that it is still a problem that must be solved; especially since many homeless people continue to face negative remarks and prejudice against them.

The Midnight Run project is run to specifically try and change this and to make a difference in homeless people’s lives. The third Midnight Run occurred on April 22nd of this year. Students part of Emerson’s Key Club participated in this event, where not only perspectives were changed by students, but lives were changed through help and compassion.

Around 15 members from Key Club arrived to help prepare for the day. Members of the club began preparing from around 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday to cook and organize what was needed for the hours ahead. The members then left Emerson at 8 p.m. and headed on to New York City, in which they stayed for a couple of hours and arrived back at Emerson at 2 a.m. The members distributed food, clothing, and other essential items to the homeless people in NYC.

Senior Sarah Walsh said that the Midnight Run specifically starts so late at night as it “harbors a feeling of trust and shared community between the volunteers and the homeless population. Plus, the donations will help families for the next morning and the days to come.

The Midnight Run has been running for many years, with English teacher Kelly Murphy even having mentioned, “My mom started taking me when I was ten.”

The organization has helped many students who have participated to change their perspectives and change their prejudiced views. Both Murphy and Walsh commented on how they believe this to be true and how the organization has helped to end stigmas surrounding homeless people.

This Midnight Run is specifically run by the Key Club here at EJSHS, but anyone can partake, whether on one’s own or with someone else/a group of people. However, it is highly recommended by club members to join! Walsh said, “Through my years and involvement in Key Club, I have learned so many valuable lessons and had so many valuable opportunities to help the world around me while learning more about different walks of life.”

The Key Club and the Midnight Run organization has truly provided a valuable experience to those involved. Whether part of the club or haven taken part in the organization or not, it is clear that both have had a profound impact on both members and the community and that everyone should be treated with compassion.

Murphy said she hopes that students take away, “That everyone is human and that we are way more alike than we are different. The most important thing you can do in life is treat people with dignity, love, and respect no matter what.”