Photo by Allison Hubbard
National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week is the third week of November, and the Pepperdine Volunteer Center is teaming up with student-led clubs and community organizations to facilitate opportunities for students to serve individuals less fortunate than themselves in the Malibu and Los Angeles areas.
“There are a lot of resources at Pepperdine and a lot of need on the streets,” President of Happy Feet Inc. Andrew Enslen said. “I want to bridge the gap or be a part of bridging the gap between people who have needs and people who can meet needs. We shouldn’t have the mentality of ‘lets serve later,’ we should constantly be asking ‘what can we do right now with what we have?’ and we have enough to impact this community.”
From Nov. 18 through the 22 the PVC, International Justice Mission club, Happy Feet Inc., Microfinance Club and Circle K International are uniting to carry out a week of events to increase awareness and service regarding hunger and homelessness in the Malibu/LA community ties around the world. The schedule of events includes speakers, film viewings, activities, artistic performances, banquets and a variety of opportunities to serve.
Students will be able to join outreaches to Skid Row and nonprofit organizations such as Malibu’s community outreaches and homeless ministries Standing on Stone, the Dream Center and the Kingdom Center. The student leaders coordinating the event want to create an atmosphere of understanding and aid to people who have less than most individuals.
“As a Christian, I believe we’ve been given so much and with all that we’ve received we have a responsibility to serve others,” PVC Development Intern Anneleise Graf said. “Here at Pepperdine, we are a little more privileged than others, so this is a great opportunity to use those resources.”
IJM club will be distributing a pamphlet designed by co-president senior Chanshi Chibwe that lists personality strengths that individuals might have and how they can apply those strengths to a specific service for others who are less fortunate.
The week of events will begin with a kick-off at the Sandbar in the evening Nov. 18. The PVC will provide food, a featured speaker and performances of songs, stories, poetry and an open mic.
Students can go on a Salvation Army Shopping Spree on Nov. 19 and join a child from a low-income family on a $100 shopping trip where they can help the child with purchasing clothing and other necessities. Later that night, there will also be a screening of a student film called “Banking on Trust” hosted by the Microfinance Cub.
Students are invited to fast and pray for the hungry and homeless on Nov. 20. “We are encouraging people to fast anything that they are able to fast,” IJM co-president Sarah Ann Gibson said. At the end of the day there will be a banquet. “We are going to have a special dinner. I can’t tell you what it is. That’s a surprise, but it was my favorite part of freshman year.” Graf described the banquet as “an incredibly unique experience” and not just a free meal.
There will be an opportunity for students to work with the community outreach on ministry Standing on Stone Nov. 21 to prepare and serve a Thanksgiving meal to homeless members of the community.
Students will get to go to Skid Row on Nov. 22 in downtown LA to minister with the Dream Center.
“The biggest thing we can contribute is giving our time and what we’ve been blessed with … It’s a perfect way to spread the Gospel,” Enslen said.
According to Gibson, many people want to help out, “But they don’t know where to look for service opportunities. This event can get people plugged in.”
For more information on the events, check out the PVC’s website at www.pepperdine.edu/volunteercenter. If you are interested in getting involved, email Sarah Gibson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Akela Newman on Twitter: @AkelaNewman
As published in the Nov. 7 issue of the Pepperdine Graphic.