October, you are a month with different shades of pink. You are a reminder of the current, past or future of many women with breast cancer. As we reach the end of this month, I want to share a message of hope.
I started donating blood when I was 17 years old. I started by going to the blood drive hosted by the Central California Blood Center at my high school, Edison. I would see their blood mobiles parked on campus and become curious. Thankfully, a teacher informed me that I could donate at 17, so I gave it a try and I was hooked. Instead of waiting for the Central California Blood Center to come to my campus I started to go to their facilities, donating as often as I could.
As the holidays approach, individuals take the time to reflect about what they are thankful for and are often more willing to donate food, some of their time, and attention to those less fortunate. Because people are filled with the spirit of thankfulness and giving back, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness sets aside the week prior to Thanksgiving every year to sponsor the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. During this week, more than 750 high schools, universities and community groups all across the nation unite to raise awareness about hunger and homelessness. This year, NHHAW will take place November 17th-22nd on our campus. Fresno State will be participating in NHHAW through the engagement of service learning classes, clubs and organizations in different events and activities to bring awareness to these social issues in the nation, California and the San Joaquin Valley.
Your participation in the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week will not only help raise awareness for the community, but can help build your leadership skills as you collaborate with your friends, classmates and other student leaders. Collectively, we can work to eliminate the myth that hunger and homelessness are inevitable in our society and instead realize that ending hunger and homelessness is attainable.
I encourage you or your organization to participate in the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. You might know someone who is affected by hunger or homelessness. You might know someone who knows someone who is affected by these issues. Regardless, think about why this week is important and the impact your service can have on our community.
What ideas do you have that can help raise awareness about hunger and homelessness?
If you cannot donate your time, what else can you do to end hunger and homelessness?