As Poverty Education Week commences, we as a St. John’s community can take the time to reflect on the many blessings and talents we have been given. We must also look at the world around us and find ways to share these gifts and abilities with those in need. Whether you are handy with tools or looking to mentor younger children in the community, there is local service that you can do.
Manna Food Center is an organization working to end hunger in Montgomery County. Donations of food can be dropped off at their warehouse in Gaithersburg on Mondays-Fridays during the hours 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. People can also host food drives to benefit the organization. Students can register to volunteer on their website and can work at the Gaithersburg warehouse, Silver Spring market, and various other locations across the county.
Habitat for Humanity in D.C. works with volunteers to build and repair affordable homes for those in need. Volunteers of all skill levels are welcome to work on the job site while others can offer help at one of the many local offices. Construction volunteers meet Wednesdays-Saturdays year round and it offers a unique opportunity to not only create a better life for those in our community, but also a chance to learn valuable life skills. Office volunteers meet Mondays-Fridays and help with regular office tasks, organization, and small projects. This faith based organization is a cornerstone of the community and relies on volunteers to support the work that they do.
Green Drop is an organization that offers goods and clothing to low-income families. People can donate unwanted clothes, household items, furniture, and kitchenware. Proceeds not only benefit the community but also other charities such as the American Red Cross, the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the National Federation of the Blind. Goods can be dropped off at one of their many locations or scheduled for pick up if there is too much to be easily transported.
The Appalachia Service Project offers volunteers a week-long service experience in Tennessee that also incorporates a focus on faith. Volunteers of ages 14 and up work in groups to build houses. More than 15,000 volunteers are able to help 650 families each year. While there is a cost to this trip, the impact on the community and on your own life is undeniable.
Poverty affects anyone who is in need of food, goods, or shelter. These organizations offer a solution to many of these problems and a better life for those in our greater community. No matter what your interest or talent, there is an organization for you. During this week, we can all appreciate the gifts we have been given and offer our service to better the world around us.