Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week made its annual appearance again from Nov. 11 to Nov. 17, 2018, sponsored by the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy.
This weeklong event hosted multiple opportunities for students to become more aware of hunger and homelessness. Movie night on Monday, Nov. 12 kicked off the event with a showing of “The Pursuit of Happiness.” Keynote speaker Saul Flores delivered a captivating talk on Wednesday night.
A Meal Packing event in the Maloney Great Room concluded the week with students packing meals in conjunction with the Outreach Program. This event was successful as around 30 students showed up to help with the Habitat for Humanity run program. Students donned hairnets and gloves as they put together packets of oatmeal that would then be sent out to people in need.
Many students said that Saul Flores’ speech was the highlight of the week. Flores delivered a riveting talk on the immigrant experience of fleeing to another country to seek refuge from violence, persecution and poverty. Flores’ speech specifically aimed to spark constructive dialogue about the immigrant experience using visual storytelling, as well as the important values of service learning trips. This well-attended event spoke to the Siena community as service is a vital essence of our Franciscan tradition. Many students go on service learning trips and get to see first hand the poverty and other hardships that immigrants face. “I personally got a lot out of it because it was very motivating and I want to be an immigration attorney. He told a lot of stories that were very powerful but also had us reflect on values in our own life. Eating dinner with him was very valuable too. He exchanged phone numbers and inspired us to not give up in working in human justice,” Emma Henderschedt ’19 said about the experience.
SEB also hosted an event during their Coffeehouse on Thursday where students could stop by the SSU to donate non-perishable food items and receive a scoop of ice cream in return. This event was also well attended as students came out with cans of soup and other food items.
The week is always a powerful one for students, faculty and staff as the FCSA brings a new look on hunger and homelessness to the Siena campus.