Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Non-profit and Community Service Fair

This afternoon, I attended the Loyola College Non-profit and Community Service Fair. Over forty-five different organizations were present. Each table consisted of a different program, including teaching and helping children and families. All of the tables had a representative who actively participates in the organization and are passionate about it. This fair shows how committed Loyola College is to the Jesuit mission of service.

Every table was filled with brochures which included many different ways to get involved. Most tables were very versatile, appealing to students of different majors. I spoke to a representative for Teach for America whose major was political science but recently taught a history class in Baltimore. Many tables also emphasized post-graduate opportunities, however small service activities were offered.

Several tables caught my eye. The first table I stopped at was Jesuit Volunteer Corps. The representative recently finished a year of volunteering and strongly encouraged others to do it. This service programs offers several categories to participate in, including children services, senior services, education, health care, substance abuse, and many more. They are stationed all across the United States and require one or two years of service. They treat the service as a full time job, volunteers work forty hours a week and have two weeks of vacation time. This organization believes a year of service can make a world of difference.

Another table that I was interested in was The Children’s Home. This is a non-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to provide services to children who have experienced abuse, neglect, abandonment, or are in need of supervised care. Their services are both short and long term and are provided to children of all races and religions who are eight to twenty-one years old. They want to build on the strengths of those served to promote success. The Children’s Home was established in 1863 and every year it tries to expand, by improving and adding new services.

The article “Serving up Hope” is about a deli, which is centered on the same Jesuit ideals as Loyola College. After receiving a $48,750 grant from the Baltimore Community Fellowship Program, Galen and Bridget Sampson started Dogwood Deli in 2006. They hire former drug users and convicts as a way to help them get back on their feet. Instead of them resorting to dead-end jobs at minimum wages, they fairly pay their employees to learn culinary skills. Galen Sampson is a chef who teaches them and after schooling they can work in the deli. He always wanted to make a difference by using his skills to help others. Two former drug users, Jennifer Brock and Tyrone Lewis, were offered jobs which helped them stay sober. They praise Galen and Bridget and are thankful for their jobs as well as the respect they receive.

Instead of Galen Sampson using his culinary talents to benefit himself by having a high paid job, he chooses to help others. Sampson follows the Jesuit mission of serving others by using his skills. The non-profit and community service fair focuses on the same mission. Every table offered job or service opportunities that are centered on using a college education to help others. The Sampson’s goal was to make a difference, which is the common goal between non-profit and community service organizations.

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