By Ashlyn Beck | Staff Writer
A group of Baylor students and faculty was recognized by Guinness World Records in early September for creating the “Longest Line of Sleeping Bags” to help homeless veterans.
Dr. Marshall Magnusen, associate professor of sport management, said a student in the School of Education suggested the idea of breaking a world record in fall 2022. In a joint effort, they eventually set their sights on attaining the “Longest Line of Sleeping Bags.”
“There was a way to use course content in an applied fashion, utilize McLane Stadium, break a world record and help veterans,” Magnusen said. “We decided to break the Guinness World Records’ longest line of sleeping bags at McLane Stadium and then donate the bags to help homeless veterans across Texas.”
Kevin Davis, program manager of Baylor’s Veteran Educational and Transitional Services, said he had taken a class with Magnusen during his time at Baylor and was happy to partner with the two to set the world record.
“He has this awesome initiative — this really student-driven initiative,” Davis said. “I love the heart behind it.”
According to Magnusen, the group raised enough money to buy 1,203 sleeping bags, exceeding the past record by 653 bags and spanning a quarter of a mile in McLane Stadium.
“Together … we were able to launch the fundraiser, secure the sleeping bags and break the record at McLane Stadium on July 4,” Magnusen said. “It was a tremendous team effort that made use of everyone’s gifts and talents.”
According to Instant Impact, the School of Education news outlet, the project was named “Operation Warmth for Warriors.” Distribution of the sleeping bags is currently underway.
“The goal is that there is no veteran homelessness and the sleeping bags just sit in a closet somewhere,” Davis said. “But [we used] that event to tell the story of veteran homelessness … and bring attention and awareness and support.”
Magnusen said that although he has nothing of the same scale in the works right now, he is continuing to undertake projects to help the community.
“Currently, my class is raising money to purchase two GaGa ball pits for Crestview Elementary, … [and] we are exploring options for helping veterans on and off campus,” Davis said.