Think about what you have done in the past week. Have you online shopped? Went to the dining hall or out to eat? Do you have a phone? How about a warm place to sleep?
There are people within a mile of you who don’t have any of these things. Walking along College Avenue, you probably will notice at least one homeless person sitting and begging, and most likely, you don’t bat an eye. We’ve seen it too many times.
You shouldn’t be punished for being lucky, but you should be aware that you are incredibly lucky to be where you are. It turns out that even in a small town like State College, you can contribute to the efforts to keep people off the streets, or at least fed and warm.
Every week, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church hosts a free meal for those who can’t afford to keep their hunger at bay. Soup and bread are served to those who need it between 5 and 6:45 p.m. every Thursday, but volunteers will be needed by 4 p.m. While serving, you can converse with the people and hear their stories. They’ll probably surprise you, but hopefully it will humble you, and by the end you may feel differently about, well, everything.
Heart for Homeless
This upcoming day shelter will be opening below the Dunkin Donuts on College Avenue by the end of November. The day shelter will be used for anyone who needs to keep warm during these frigid winter days, and though the shelter can’t accommodate for nighttime, its effort is still one step closer to improving the lives of State College’s impoverished. You can help out at this shelter by volunteering, donating food and clothes and more. Fundraising efforts will begin soon after the shelter opens.
It’s crazy how lucky we are, but it’s important to put it into perspective and use our resources to help others get on their feet. Though we’re only college students, we have incredible power that, together, can support the impoverished in our area, and hopefully, make their lives just a little bit better. We are privileged, but we make a huge difference, so get out there and make it.
Photo by Sabine Clermont