The Campus Store teamed up with the nonprofit organization With a Purpose for their Blanket for Blanket initiative. For each K-State blanket purchased in the store, a blanket was donated to MESI. With a Purpose works with nonprofit partners who focus on housing agencies, veterans in need and disaster relief. This is the second consecutive winter that With a Purpose has made a donation to MESI.
MESI started as a result of a 1984 community-wide survey that reported a homeless shelter as the main priority of the Manhattan community. In 1985, more than 20 residents partnered with the First Presbyterian Church to start a committee and MESI became a reality.
The organization has expanded since 1985. MESI has established several housing programs in addition to their original transitional housing model for individuals and families. Their mission is to treat the homeless of Manhattan with respect and dignity by providing a safe shelter where people are valued and encouraged to grow in self-sufficiency as they integrate into the community. According to Emily Wagner, MESI executive director, the shelter serves about 500 people each year via its emergency shelter program.
With a Purpose launched its first collegiate Blanket for a Blanket initiative in 2013. As of October 2015, they will have donated more than 17,000 blankets nationally.