Thanksgiving is fast approaching. While some are anticipating the succulent turkey, flavorful stuffing and sweet pumpkin pie, there are young children, along with their families, who have no idea where their next meal is coming from, let alone the abundance of dishes presented on “Turkey Day.”
The United States Congress declared November to be National Homeless Youth Awareness month on July 11, 2007. Coinciding with this holiday season’s theme of giving, now is the time for the more fortunate to give back to those who are not. “It’s nice to be in the position to help,” Service Learning Center staff member Gloria Bogdan said.
There are many ways to contribute to the community. A good place to start is closer than you would think: Santa Ana College Service Learning Center is the go-to place for those looking to volunteer. Located at U-204B, the SLC is affiliated with numerous charity agencies.
Currently, SAC’s Service Learning Center is hosting its 12th annual Adopt-a-Family project focused on helping less fortunate SAC students and their families. Families in need are referred to the center by faculty, staff, students, and departments on campus. Sponsors, which are the volunteers, are recruited and then assigned to families. Donations in the form of gift cards, gifts or non-perishable canned goods will be accepted in U-204B. Today is the last day the SLC is accepting donations.
The Mercy House, a shelter that provides housing for and supportive services to a variety of homeless populations, is located within the community and is also conducting an adoption project. For Adopt-a-Resident, you choose one person and make their Thanksgiving memorable. “Money is not the only way to give. Your time and talents are just as useful and may be valued more than monetary gifts,” Program Manager Stephanie Myers said.
Residents in these shelters, who may be disconnected from their families, are often reminded of their loneliness during the holidays. Sometimes just being remembered and made to feel as if they matter and are cared for are better than a new pair of shoes or any other material gift.
Since this is National Homeless Youth Awareness month,its a good time to help ensure that those experiencing financial hardship have a better holiday. There are many ways to contribute — choose one.
There is no shortage of places that need your time and help: