On Wednesday, May 27, my Applied Ethics class along with our instructor, Amanda Loewen, went to the Fox Valley Warming Shelter for our applied learning project. When we first pulled in, there was a line of people waiting outside the warming shelter. Connie, the shelter’s Volunteer Coordinator, later explained to us that at 5 PM every night the doors to the shelter open and those who are in need of a place are allowed in. Once inside, they are provided with shelter, food, clothing and safety. Then, every morning by 9 AM they must leave the shelter for the day. Whether they go to a job, go to look for a job, or just hang out at the public library, they are not allowed to be at the shelter during the day. Connie let us know about how important volunteering and donations are to their shelter. Every day, they need a group of volunteers who are able to provide and cook a well-rounded dinner for the men and women in the shelter.
While at the shelter, we began by weeding around the perimeter of the shelter building. Once the weeds were gone and the area was freshly raked, we planted flowers and plants along the side of the building. We also then weeded and raked around a gazebo, as well as along their fence line to plant more plants and flowers. Once everything was planted, we also put down some newspaper and wood chips to act as mulch so it would conserve water and prevent weeds from growing in the future. After we were done planting, we also picked up the yard a bit, and then cleaned up. The plants, dirt and mulch were all made available thanks to a generous donation from Thrivent Financial. We were incredibly blessed to be able to partner with Thrivent and Fox Valley Warming Shelter to make this applied learning project such a successful one!
A few hours of getting dirty, and having fun interactions with my classmates outside of the classroom, was a great way to round off the end of our spring quarter. We learned a lot while at Fox Valley Warming Shelter and truly enjoyed our time volunteering there.
Who they are: Fox Valley Warming Shelter, Inc. seeks to provide overnight temporary shelter to homeless adult men and women.
Written By Jennifer Eisch, Business Administration Student