LinC, Bonner Leaders wrap hunger, homelessness week

Jill Martin

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week wrapped up with Learning in the Community and Bonner Leaders Program sponsored events ending this past Saturday. Events occurred throughout the entire week to educate Washburn students on this detrimental occurrence happening across the Unites States.

Megan Maes, active Bonner Leaders member, was one of the many student activists who helped set up the events. She wanted to convey, especially to college level students, the hardships of the world.

“Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week allows students to see firsthand what it feels like to be hungry and homeless,” said Maes. “Hopefully this sadness or anger that they gain from these events turns into passion and action, which in turn causes change.”

Among many of the students who attended at least one event, freshman Dannie Boucher found the panel discussion intriguing.

“I thought it was an amazing idea to bring in those who could explain homelessness the best,” said Boucher. “It truly was touching and I think it motivated us students to get more involved.”

Maes also thought the Faces of Homelessness Panel and the Hunger Banquet were the most valuable and educational parts of the week.

“The Faces of Homeless Panel allowed students to see into the daily hardship that the homeless face,” said Maes. “I feel the people who attend will not look at the homeless population the same again.”

The Hunger Banquet that was Thursday also had a significant effect on its attendees, said Maes.

“A Hunger Banquet is a very moving activity,” said Maes. “I feel that it truly made people look deeply into their lives and see what they can do to make a difference.”

The two organizations hosted an event every day. Monday students had the opportunity to watch “The Pursuit of Happiness,” a true story of former homeless man Chris Gardner starring Will Smith. Tuesday a panel of four people were brought in to discuss homelessness in Topeka. Wednesday consisted of learning about the Invisible Children organization. Thursday was the Oxfam Hunger Banquet, where students were divided in social classes to portray how being a part of a lower class would feel, and Friday the Fair Trade Certification involving farmers in today’s world was discussed. Volunteers gathered to assist Let’s Help with a soup kitchen on Saturday.

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