This week, UNCG students are giving back to those in need as part of the 2015 National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, an annual initiative sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign against Hunger & Homelessness.
Each year as Thanksgiving approaches, high schools, colleges and universities, community groups and faith-based groups from across the country come together to raise awareness about hunger and homelessness. Since 2011, UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service-Learning (OLSL) has hosted events throughout the week in keeping with the university’s motto of “Service.”
“College is a great time to get engaged with the community,” said Allison Plitman, an AmeriCorps VISTA member who serves in OLSL and organizer of the week’s events. “It’s so fulfilling to make a difference, especially a tangible difference like packaging food or serving a meal.”
Over the past five years, UNCG students have contributed more than 3.6 million hours of community service, giving back through Spartan Service Day, Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week and a variety of other campus-sponsored events.
“A sense of community is foundational to our well-being,” said George Hancock, director of the National Center for Homeless Education, which is housed at UNCG’s SERVE Center. “Efforts such as those being undertaken during Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week can have a tremendous impact by allowing some of our most vulnerable citizens to regain this sense of community, while also inspiring volunteers to advocate on their behalf.”
Some of the events:
Wednesday 11/18 – “Crossing the Threshold” Screening
Join us for a screening of “Crossing the Threshold,” a powerful short film that shows the important issue of homelessness for our returning veterans. After the screening, we will be joined by a panel of speakers who have experienced homelessness firsthand for a brief discussion and then Q/A section with questions from the audience
SOEB 222, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 19 – 21st Annual “Will Read for Food”
Will Read for Food! with UNCG MFA Faculty – featuring Stuart Dischell, Ansel Elkins, Craig Nova, Michael Parker, L. Lamar Wilson and Lee Zacharias. MC – Holly Goddard Jones. Guest Bartenders: Terry Kennedy and Jim Whiteside All proceeds collected through tips, donations and raffle tickets will be donated to the Interactive Resource Center.
Scuppernong Books on Elm, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 20 – Stop Hunger Now
Race the clock with RHA, CAB, OLSL, and Congresswoman Alma Adams as we package 5,000 meals for hungry school children worldwide! Volunteers for this event will package as many meals as possible, with rotating shifts taking place all day between 11am-3pm. All meals built will be sent abroad to help international hunger needs. Learn more or sign-up for a volunteer shift here.
Student Rec Center, 11-3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 21 – servGSO with The Pathways Center
Come join OLSL staff in a servGSO with The Pathways Center, a housing program that aims to provide homeless families a safe, temporary environment to live while they are searching for other housing. At this servGSO, UNCG volunteers will cook and serve a Thanksgiving-themed lunch for Pathways resident families. After the meal is served, volunteers will be free to work with the Pathways children, playing games or music with them.
Register for this event here. Volunteers will meet at bus stop on Stirling St at 10 a.m.
Contact Allison Plitman at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
To learn more and to register for events, visit olsl.uncg.edu.
By Alyssa Bedrosian