Monday, November 10, 2008

Community Service

As many of you know, the economic times of the present are hitting food banks hard, and there is a shortage of food to give out at food banks. As a result, many people are lining up for food and finding there is none or little available when they get to the front of the line. Although we might think we have been hit hard by the economic downturn, we are in college, attending classes, and relatively healthy.

As you also might know, Barack Ohama signaled in his campaign speeches and election night victory speech, he is interested in helping college students afford tuition. One of his ideas was for college students to do community service and be remunerated in some way through college tuition reimbursements. Although this plan might be off in the distance, with Thanksgiving around the corner, this might be a good time for students in FYS to help out.

I spoke with Sr. Beth Fischer today to see if Saint Joseph College will be running a food drive this year for Thanksgiving donations and if the FYS class on "Homeless in America" might be spearheading an effort. If so, I suggested our class might want to get involved, given one of the themes in our course is social justice.

In her last paper, Beth Pollette addressed the silent, average citizen, who recognizes social injustice but remains passive. Well, do we remain passive, or can we help out? How do you feel about setting up a food drive on campus or contributing to one spearheaded through Sr. Beth's work on campus? Post your comments.


Photo: courtesy of The Hartford Courant, Nov. 8, 2008 frontpage: http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-foodpantry.artnov08,0,6817193.story
To read The Hartford Courant story, "Unemployment Up, Donations Down; Food Pantries Struggle ," follow the URL above.

5 comments:

Hannah said...

I think helping those less fortunate than us is an excellent idea. As Dr. Arzt said, our class is based upon social justice and helping the homeless would be a great opportunity to help people.

Kelly said...

This sounds really corny, but I LOVE doing community service! At my high school, it was required that each student do at least 10 hours each year, but I always did way more because I enjoyed it. So I'm all for this idea. But, would it just be something like collecting the food for the pantries, or do you think we could see if we could actually GO to one and help out or serve the people that go there? I find the more direct types of community service to be a little more meaningful and rewarding sometimes.

travis said...

I wonder if anything has happened with this? I would be interested in helping, I think that my life could be enriched by helping other people. I recently heard about people reading to the blind elderly. I heard that on the radio but havent heard about it again. If you know anything regarding that program, please let me know. I wonder if there is a list of charitible establishments or programs that anyone could see online and then just click to get involded with the one that interests them. hmmmmm. There are many ways to help out in our community.

annie said...

I think volunteering your services for your community gives you such an awarding feeling. Knowing that you are helping other people who are less fortunate can make you think twice about your own life and the times we think that our lives are horrible. It would be awesome to get students more involved in community service.

Amy said...

Even though this article was posted a while back, I still feel it is a great idea to set up a food drive here on campus. I think it is important for people to be reminded that they live in a community and a part of that role is to be a good neighbor and contribute to their town.

Looking at this in an Elementary perspective rather than college, students can truly benefit from learning how to help and assist others. Having a food drive is a perfect way to allow students to contribute to their community. Moreover, I can remember contributing to many food drives over the years when I was younger. I remember the school running competitions to see which class would bring the most cans or food in. Although this is a great way to obtain food for the drive, it doesn't bring much meaning to the idea of helping the needy. Therefore, I would as a teacher, take it one step further and have the students really look into where they are contributing to and why. Reports, visuals, projects can be designed to show students' understandings of this.

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