A group of Zeta Zigga Zamma members, known on social media as “The Zoo Pals,” have started a fundraiser that has raised a whopping $1,450 for Terry Haliburton, a part-time employee at the Common Grounds.
Zeta Zigga Zamma is a non-profit male organization composed of Baylor students who are known for incorporating the Christian faith into collegiate life by having parties with no alcohol and by donating to local charities such as Mission Waco.
The “Zoo Pals” came to be when they all lived in a house together called the “Zoo”. Zeta Zigga Zamma was created in that same house. Now, and the residents of ‘The Zoo’ include Murfreesboro, Tenn. junior Jacob Dunn, junior Dallas Armstrong Simms, Houston junior Austin Stephenson, Flint senior James Edwards, Fordland, Mo. senior Collin Kensinger and Waco senior Franklin Karr.
The men became friends with Haliburton last year through the former residents of their house, who were also members of ZZZ. Jacob Dunn says that each roommate has a specific way of helping out with Haliburton.
According to Instagram the_zoo_pals, Haliburton was formerly homeless, though he now has housing through government aid. His living arrangements are three miles away from work and because the distance, Haliburton drives every day to his job, despite not having a driver’s license. He was left with an abundance of infractions and citations for living on the streets of Waco. Also, he received many tickets for driving without a license which furthered his problem of being unable to get a driver’s license.
“It’s like he’s swimming through molasses. There’s constantly something that is working against him. He has to work twice as hard as any other person, not to mention any other homeless person.” Dunn said.
The fundraiser, announced Monday afternoon by a post on the boys’ Instagram account initially began with the goal to assist Haliburton in paying off the fines prohibiting him from obtaining a driver’s license. The post used goals matched with money to get people to donate. For example, if $150 is raised a member will shave his head all the way up to if a $1,000 is raised, the Zoo Pals will throw a party.
Dunn and Simms said that Haliburton, along with his current difficulties, also has type 2 diabetes and night blindness. This, coupled with financial difficulty, makes things hard for Haliburton. Despite this, Dunn describes his ever-cheerful demeanor.
“Every time he comes over, or we see him here [Common Grounds], he doesn’t lose any hope. He is the happiest person and is extremely engrained in the word. He just reads the Bible constantly.” Dunn said.
The financial goal of the fundraiser started out at $350, and they have now raised over $1,400. Dunn marveled at this and admires people’s generosity.
“Everyone has just been so great. They don’t know Terry, but they just read his story and they were moved to help him. This amount of money is not only going to make it so he doesn’t have to empty his savings for this license, but it’s going to pay for the license, and then it’s also going to pay for parts of his car payment, food and his diabetic medicine for the next couple of months. Everyone is just helping to give Terry a better standard of living right now and to make him more independent,” Dunn said.
Tuesday night, a post was made thanking donors for their contributions to the fundraiser. Haliburton was featured in the video where he communicated his gratefulness for all of the support.
“I appreciate each and every one of you for your donations and may God continue to bless you and may you be blessed evermore, evermore, every day in Jesus’ name I pray —to all of y’all, thank you a lot,” said Haliburton.
Students can donate to help Haliburton through Venmo at @fund4terry. This upcoming week, the ‘Zoo Pals’ will be holding a 24 hour live stream where viewers can watch the men shave their heads.