Hunger projects, big and small, at UNCG
UNCG volunteers packaged more than 14,000 meals Nov. 21 for those who’d otherwise go hungry.
“It goes to people globally,” says Blaze Jarrell. The sophomore Public Health Education major is the Residence Hall Association’s VP for community outreach and was the event point person.
About 70 students and employees volunteered in the Stop Hunger Now meal packaging event in the Associated Campus Ministries Building. It was an assembly line process – with volunteers working in shifts. UNCG student volunteers put together meals of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 vitamins and minerals.
This Stop Hunger Now event, in association with the international Stop Hunger Now organization, is sponsored by UNCG’s Residence Hall Association, Campus Activities & Programs and the Dean of Students Office. It was the final event of UNCG’s “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week,” hosted by the UNCG Office of Leadership and Service Learning.
That was a lot of people. In contrast, CW heard about a single undergraduate who’s making a difference,
Melissa Donnell chose the social issue homelessness for Dr. Kenneth Allan’s Social Inequalities course in Sociology. As a project she would deliver 10 Care Packs with food and hygiene necessities to those in need in the community. “I began by requesting donations from other students at the university and soliciting donations from local businesses,” she explains. “The support that I received from my fellow classmates, as well as the local businesses, was amazing. After some discussion and encouragement, I decided to take the project a step further.”
She calls it the Care Pack Project. “My new goal is to put together and deliver a Care Pack to every unsheltered individual in Guilford County. According to the Point in Time Count completed in January 2014, there are a total of 99 unsheltered individuals. I am also gathering clothes and shoes that I can provide to them as well. I am currently working on a partnership to receive furniture and household donations that I can donate to the individuals who receive housing.”
A 35-year old mother of three and wife and intern, Donnell is currently enrolled in 22 credit hours so she can graduate this month with a double major: Sociology with a Criminology concentration and a major in Psychology.
Her professor adds, “In the course of working on this class project, she began interning for Partners Ending Homelessness, has written one grant proposal and is working on others, established her own website, got her IRS Employers Identification Number, is applying for tax exempt status, and has collected enough donations to fill her home garage to overflowing. Needless to say, she has exceeded her initial goal.”
Lots of inspiring students at UNCG – doing impactful service.