The University of Dayton recently wrapped up a week’s worth of events aimed to raise awareness about homelessness and hunger.
According to the Campus Ministry website, 10 events were planned and organized by students over the past week to raise awareness. Throughout the week, students could stop by Kennedy Union or Marycrest to donate a meal off of their meal plans to provide Thanksgiving meals to families in the Dayton area.
Many UD students also got involved with the Thanksgiving food baskets that were put together around campus and will also go to Dayton families. Students could be seen manning tables outside of the cafeterias taking donations from students.
Lauren Farrell, a graduate assistant in Campus Ministry, said other branches of UD also got involved.
“UDRI and UDit actually had a competition to see which group could collect the most money and food donations for the effort. Each provided a huge amount of money and food,” Farrell said.
According to Farrell, the Rector’s Office, the Provost, various Greek Life organizations also got involved.
“It really highlights the generosity and community of UD as a whole,” Farrell said.
Other events of the week included a kickoff event with a free concert in Humanities Plaza and a poverty simulation in the KU ballroom, which according to the Campus Ministry website, helped give members of the UD community a small sense of what it was actually like to life in poverty.
Students helped construct the Thanksgiving baskets from all the donations that were collected over the week during this past Service Saturday, Farrell said.
The events wrapped up on Thursday, Nov. 15, with the Homelessness Plunge that put students in a homeless shelter for the night, according to the Campus Ministry website.
Farrell said that this week-long awareness event has been a part of UD for over 20 years and actually reflects the work that UD does all year long.
“It matches very well with our other service projects, plunges, and breakouts that mean to fight against poverty” Farrell said.
Farrell also stressed that the week-long program was planned and implemented through the hard work of 12 students.
Senior finance and philosophy major Stephen MacKell said that he was glad he could get involved in the week’s events.
“I got involved because I consider these to be important problems, both locally and globally,” MacKell said. “As educated individuals it becomes our job to know about and understand these issues and the people who are in need. This week is about raising awareness and educating students about hunger and homelessness while providing chances to directly serve those people in need.”