'Men in blue' make holiday donations to Maddox

By NICOLE SMITH
Posted 12/26/19

Students at Maddox Intermediate School have a special group of men looking out for them. They're known as the "men in blue."   

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'Men in blue' make holiday donations to Maddox

Posted

Students at Maddox Intermediate School have a special group of men looking out for them. They're known as the "men in blue."   

Members of the Pi Upsilon Sigma 1914 chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity have been part of the Maddox school community for the past three years to provide mentorship to youth. This Christmas, they are making sure students stay warm and perhaps get an item on their wish list.

Maddox Principal Marc Sargent said the men recently gave the school $465 in gift cards to go toward Christmas gifts for students in need, and they also donated over 50 coats to be distributed to any child who needs one.

At least 40 kids will have gifts to open Christmas morning thanks to efforts at the school by parents, Pi Upsilon Sigma 1914, and others, and Sargent said he has already distributed several of the donated coats.

"I let them go into the area where we keep them, and we give them a jacket to wear home to keep warm," he said. "I've already gave out quite a few just by noticing this year when they don't have a coat."

The men in blue also donated $500 to Maddox at the beginning of the school year to help with supplies, and they visit the school each Wednesday to be an encouraging presence for students. 

"They eat lunch with them and go into the classrooms and help them with homework. They don't really guide them like a counselor, but they're just there as a male mentor," Sargent said. "They look forward to it. They call them the 'blue shirt guys' because they wear blue shirts."

The men first started volunteering at West Jasper Elementary School five years ago, but when the school closed, they moved their efforts to Maddox.   

They are part of the I Am My Brother's Keeper mentorship initiative, and thousands of schools have been adopted through Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity across the country.

"They're almost like one of our faculty members," Sargent said. "We're really glad to have them."