To kick off National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, a handful of clubs set up cardboard homes in from of the Pollock Road entrance. Set up began around 9 or 10 a.m. and the town displays lasted for hours.
The common goal was to prove how fortunate we are students– whether the roof over our head is a dorm, an apartment or a house with friends– because hey, we have a home. And probably another one back with our parents, too.
Alpha Phi Omega Cardboard House
Group Photo: (Left to Right) Christian Howard (sophomore), Sophia Weidner (junior), Scott Levine (super senior), and Tyler Jung (junior)
*Also features an artistic doc photo called “Christain Howard (soph)”
“It is an interesting experience. We want to find a way to build something. It is an interesting way to see how they live with the materials they have,” Howard says.
Plain and simply – or not, rather – Alpha Phi Omega went all out with their house, which was just to the right of the HUB entrance. A small pathway lead to a house filled with different compartments. The actual façade was filled with flyers, inspirational sayings and statistics. For the example, the ratio of poverty to health is 72:1. This group truly proves that you can, “change the world one cardboard house at a time.”
Student Activities Service, Trips, and Planning House
Group Photo: Fabiola Pardede (Freshman), Adrienne Sherman (Senior), Kael Terrell (Senior), Mark Holbert (working full time in student activities)
“It is about national hunger and homelessness…raising awareness, getting people excited for events going on this week. People may not see it, but it’s here,” Sherman says.
Their house took one hour to build, and it was tough to keep it together because of the wind. The task was far from being “glamorous.”
“[Homeless] life must be hard,” Pardede realizes.
This cardboard city is, “a very good start for what we are going to face next week. Many people there are homeless,” she says.
Holbert works full time in student activities and advised the building of the cardboard houses. One of the student activities includes an alterative Thanksgiving break to Washington, DC aid the homeless and fight hunger in the city.
According to the group, campuses all around the country do similar poverty simulations, not just at Penn State.
“Most people put belongings in boxes, but homeless people don’t have many belongings, so they use them to build houses,” Terrell adds.
Kristen Stasko (Junior) from Intercollegiate Athletic
Stasko began working on her blue Penn State Blue Bus for hunger last week. She hopes to gather as many canned goods as possible to send to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
This week, “Protect the Blue Bus” is an event from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, where the Blue Bus will stop at different drop off point, picking up canned goods. The bus will drop them at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Also involving athletes fighting hungry is the event Uplifting Athlete pushup contest. Twenty teams of ten will try to complete a cumulative 7,000 pushups to represent the 7.000 rare cancer diseases. The admission to the event is – yup, a canned good.
“…The coaches’ wives started this. They are teaming up with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. They wanted to fill the bus with canned goods. They want to fill it up by this Saturday’s game against Indiana,” Stasko says.
Habitat for Humanity
This club worked on the city last Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and even included one of their themes from homecoming last year: Every lion needs a den. Every family needs a home.
Olivia Garbett explains that they made the city instead of one house, “…to show it is not one. There are multiple things. [Homelessness] affects more than one person. It affects the whole country.”
“Homelessness is a serious issue. We take for granted the fact that we have a roof over heads, and some of us cannot take in those same pleasures,” says Tyler Shultz, a senior.