Penn State Abington students launched Discover Service week by making and delivering hundreds of sandwiches to the homeless, writing letters to international leaders, and getting dirty while cleaning up the exterior of a Philadelphia worship center.
According to Tracy Reed, coordinator of Student Life Programs, the moniker Volunteer Week was replaced by Discover Service in order to broaden the experience for faculty, staff and students. “We wanted add more opportunities to educate everyone about social justice,” she said.
Each day of Discover Service different activities including:
-- On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, members of the Abington community made and delivered 800 sandwiches and 38 blankets to My Brother’s Place, a Philadelphia homeless shelter. They also wrote letters for THON.
-- Write for Life: Abington students wrote letters through an Amnesty International initiative to help bring about the release of people who have been wrongfully detained and to influence world leaders to protect those whose human rights have been denied.
-- Learn and Craft: Students continued making blankets for the homeless and watched a film about the issue.
-- Dine and Donate: Students randomly drew tickets that assigned them to different “worlds.” Their meal depended on which “world” they lived in, with some receiving filling portions, while others ate more simply or barely at all. The event included a discussion about access and power.
-- Serve: Students received specific directions on how to get involved in service projects.
Reed was grateful to the faculty, staff and students who participated. “Thank you for taking the time to give back,” she said.