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Pepperdine Volunteer Center Participates in National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Every year the Pepperdine Volunteer Center (PVC) participates in the The National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, from Monday, November 16, to Saturday, November 21, to bring the campus together in a united call to advocacy, justice, and service. This year the PVC partnered with various student organizations to present a week filled with activities to educate the student body, inspire continued acts of service, and bring a greater awareness to the social needs of greater Los Angeles and the world around us.

The series of events features a daily art reflection activity which asks students "What is home?" with the goal of encouraging students to think about the different ways one might define home, especially while reflecting on homelessness. 

A daily clothing drive will support  the Union Rescue Mission. Goods will be delivered to the residents and visitors of the Mission on the morning of Saturday, November 21, when students go to volunteer at their Thanksgiving dinner event. Canned foods will be donated to the Malibu Relief, which is providing Thanksgiving meals to those in need within the Malibu community.

On Wednesday, November 18, at 10 AM Bryant Myers, author of Walking with the Poor, spoke at chapel service. At 1 PM, speakers Stephanie Summers, Katie Thompson, and Michael Gerson, the authors of Unleashing Poverty: Why Escaping Poverty Requires a Shared Vision of Justice, discussed what poverty alleviation looks like to millennials, specifically Christians. Also on Wednesday, a service fair held in Joslyn Plaza featured booths led by the Microfinance Club, International Justice Mission, Medair, the Pepperdine Microenterprise Program, End Malaria Now, and a PVC employee representing the health and wellness programs, as well as the hunger and homelessness programs. Following the day of activities, students were invited to the Hunger Banquet in the Drescher cafeteria and given a card detailing the story of a real person of either a high-income group, middle-income group, or a low-income group, with the purpose of demonstrating how each group experiences dinner. Those students in the high-income group was served a full meal at a lavishly-set table. The middle income group served themselves a simple meal of rice, beans, and water while seated at a table and were provided silverware. The low-income group, which was made up of the majority of students, sat on the floor and received rice and water in a bowl without silverware. Throughout the meal, they shared statistics and anecdotes about hunger and poverty on a local and global scale. Students were encouraged to refrain from eating a secondary meal after they left to authentically experience the intended purpose of the event.

That evening, Medair, an international humanitarian aid agency providing help for populations affected by natural disasters or conflict, hosted a screening of the documentary, Salam Neighbor, in PC 190.

Upcoming events:

Celebration chapel on Friday morning at Stauffer Chapel in Malibu will focus on God's heart for the hungry and homeless and a time will be set aside for prayer specific to these topics. The Fun Run, organized by the Pepperdine Microenterprise Program, will begin at 9 AM at Alumni Park on Saturday, November 21. Also on Saturday, a group of volunteers will travel to the Union Rescue Mission at 9 AM to assist with their Thanksgiving dinner. A second group of students will participate in Farmers Market Recovery at 9:45 AM on Saturday, when they will  distribute boxes of unsold fresh produce from a local farmers market to local hunger-relief agencies.

A special Thanksgiving meal will take place on Saturday at 9 AM, when students will serve meals at the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles.

For more information, visit the Pepperdine Volunteer Center website