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From free meals to grief counseling, the community has stepped up for MSU students after Monday's tragedy

Ele's Place in Lansing offers grief counseling for young adults
Posted at 9:07 PM, Feb 18, 2023

EAST LANSING, Mich. — In the wake of one of Michigan State University's worst tragedies, students need support now more than ever. Thankfully, multiple groups within the community are stepping up to help.

MSU student organization All Together is offering a free meal from Chipotle, Raising Canes or McDonalds to be delivered to any student living on campus through Saturday evening.

"All they have to do is fill out a form we put on our Instagram, and we've received a lot of responses from it so far," MSU All Together Communications Executive Aryn Hillman said.

By Friday afternoon, they'd already gotten nearly 400 orders.

"Our original plan was to cap it around 100, but we've received so much extra funding at this point that if we can get the volunteer presence, we'd like to do more than that," Hillman said.

This small student group is able to swing this many orders because the community has been donating to a GoFundMe to pay for the meals. They've already raised thousands.

"If we have any extra funds leftover in the GoFundMe, then we can support some other recovery efforts," Hillman said. "We'd also like to donate it directly to the families if we can find a way to contact them."

A short drive from campus, Ele's Place in Lansing offers grief counseling at no cost.

"We're really hoping that we can reach some of those students at MSU that have really been impacted by this...we ask that they come and be with peers that have a sense of what they've experienced," Ele's Place Capital Region Project Coordinator Kelly Koerney said. "Many of our facilitators that facilitate our groups here are MSU students."

Koerney said this past week, the nonprofit has been eerily quiet.

"We have not had a lot of program calls, but we know that's going to change," Hillman said. "We want the community to know that we're here to support in any way that we can, whether that be reaching out and saying, 'I just need to talk through a few things that are really concerning me' or, 'I need to get my kids in for some grief support.'"

Ele's Place is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To learn more about programs at Ele's Place, call (517) 482-1315.

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