"It was really cool. It was one of those things where we were all having a rough time," said Marlena McGuffey, a lab manager at Flavorman who oversaw the company's drive. "Things were bad everywhere but no matter how bad it gets, there's always someone who has it worse."
Even familiar pillars of strength like Big Brothers Big Sisters got a boost from three local alumni fraternities, Alpha Phi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi. The fraternities all pledged to find 30 African-American Big Brothers by the end of the year.
Organizers admit the pledge is part of a national drive, but say it comes at a time when the community needs role models more than ever, citing lack of employment that creates more pressure for families to stay together. There are 250 Little Brothers are on the organization's waiting list.