Globe University students increase homelessness awareness, connect with shelter residents
Globe University-La Crosse students reached out to their homeless neighbors and raised homelessness awareness with a memorial vigil at a local Salvation Army shelter. Following the event, students planned a holiday event for shelter residents and staff.
For this service-learning project, the Global Citizenship class diligently collected non-perishable food items, warm winter clothes, toiletries and other necessities, toys and books to give to the residents. Students also created a large display to memorialize the homeless people who passed away in the La Crosse area in the last year. Candles illuminated the names and ages of these community members during a public vigil that promoted understanding of homelessness. The event also focused the public’s view of the Salvation Army and its needs to be able to provide housing, food and other support for the community.
One student, who resided with her family in a shelter after her husband lost his job, reflected on the project from past experience.
“I know it is easy to end up here,” she said. “It happens, and it happens quickly.”
Following the vigil, students served the residents a holiday dinner, socialized, and entertained them with activities, family games, prizes, and massages from massage therapy students. Santa even made a special appearance to deliver gifts to the children staying at the shelter.
“I hope students appreciate the effect they can have on other people’s lives,” said Diana DiazGranados, Global Citizenship instructor. “Their small contributions can really make a difference.”