Community Service | Poverty & Homelessness Week
National Poverty and Homelessness Week occurs annually the week before Thanksgiving, and is a time for Americans to give back as they celebrate abundance and blessings in their lives. Each year, CARE (Centre Action Reaches Everyone) and the Office of Religious Life sponsor events on campus and in the local community to raise awareness about poverty and empower students to engage in solutions.
Below you will find student reflections about past year’s events. All students, faculty, staff, and community members are encouraged to get involved in these annual events and should be on watch for announcements of this year's schedule.
Reflections on Past Events
The World Marketplace had stunning examples of crafts and other goods made by people from around the world striving to become self-sufficient by bettering their economic status. By buying a simple necklace, I was able to take part in the growth of a family's wealth thereby allowing them to do such things as afford an education for their children or nourish themselves and their children with healthier food or even to buy machinery to expand their business. Personally, knowing that I had a part in this, no matter how small, made me feel amazing! So I say: Go fair trade! Go people of the world!
-Elizabeth Ko ‘13
For me, our Oxfam fast opened my eyes to see many of the dire situations of individuals, and even communities, around the world. In a way, I felt a sense of guilt in not doing more for these people, however I gained hope from the Oxfam presentation. The videos we viewed highlighted many essentials of service that are being implemented in troubled areas, and the key to making a positive mark in society. We noticed, while giving material contributions are wonderful, true growth for the people in need comes from their learning to be self sufficient and progressive. In brief, I found that Oxfam is truly helping others help themselves. I was inspired to carry on that initiative through my own work in service.
-Travis Adams ‘14
Oxfam Hunger Banquet
I was in the lower class group. When I got there, I did not feel cheated or upset in any way, I felt that was somehow justified. I kept hearing the upper class people say how they felt "guilty" and I think my justification at not belonging to the wealthiest group of people in the world, even for an hour, made me realize that it was because I actually felt guilty about be so blessed on a daily basis and not doing anything to help people I know need the things we take advantage of, but never make an effort to share. I think most Americans and privileged individuals around the world feel this guilt every day as they grow up and learn that we are able to help but don't. I appreciated the Hunger Banquet Simulation helping me to realize what I already knew and giving me some ways to do it.
I kind of wish it had shocked me more, honestly. And I wish it hadn't seemed like such an easy thing to do when the upper classes shared food with us. It was somewhat unfathomable to think that they were going to sit there and eat, staring at us with nothing. It's sad how obvious that seemed to me on the floor, but not when I'm the one with the rolls.
-Sarah Bugg ‘14
Canned Food Drive
I loved participating in the canned food drive! I think it was very successful and will help many families in the Danville community have a better Thanksgiving this year. I also loved the fact that the Centre students personally went out in the community to collect cans. This really helped to improve the relationship and connection with Centre students and the very generous community that surrounds Centre. As we all know, Centre students can really get stuck in the Centre bubble, so opportunities like the canned food drive offer great for a chance us to serve and burst our bubble a little bit- in positive way!
-Taylor Knight ‘13