Service Council reaches out in SOME Soup Kitchen

By Hannah Kebede
Elm Staff Writer

At least 3.5 million people in the USA are homeless or have been homeless for a significant time. The Washington College Service Council, a “student-led community service organization” took a day to help some living in Washington, DC.

On Oct. 7, the Service Council made its second trip to So Others Might Eat (SOME) Soup Kitchen in the American capital. SOME not only provides nutritious meals to those in need but other necessary services like clean clothing, safe housing and job-training.

Working alongside volunteers from other organizations and receiving guidance from SOME employees, the eight members of the WC Service Council that attended this year’s trip served food to the hungry locals and cleaned up after meal time. Interacting positively with those one is helping is an important part of volunteering, beneficial both to the people being helped and the people doing the helping. At SOME, volunteers are encouraged to “always smile” at and “strike up a conversation” with customers.

Junior Rosie Mujica, co-chair of the National Committee, helped plan the trip since last semester and worked the lunch line. “I was able to hand the plates of food directly to the customers,” she said, “This allowed me to see the gratitude on their faces, which was a moving experience.”

Mujica also describes one “particularly profound” conversation with a grateful soup kitchen client, “As I was waiting for the lunch shift to start, he asked me if I liked to read. When I responded that I did, he turned to his bag and handed me a book and told me to keep it. This seemed like such an extraordinary thing to do because this man had so little and yet he was willing to part with one of his possessions so willingly. Since we come from such a materialistic culture, giving things away for no exchange of property or money is a rare thing to see.” This kind of interaction is the best part of being a member of the Service Council, too.

In September, the Service Council passed out ribbons in honor of the first responders on 9/11 and in addition to their Soup Kitchen to DC, it will also participate in the city’s Speak Now for Autism Walk in November.

This month, they are having the Blood Drive, High Tea at Heron Point, and trick-or-treating for UNICEF on Halloween. They also plan to hold a Cake-Off, a Quidditch Tournament, book-drive, a Mental Health Awareness Week, and an Empty Bowls project.

According to their page on the Washington College website, the WC Service Council is “open to everyone, just come to a meeting and you’re in” and if one is too busy to donate one’s time, he or she can still support the Service Council through its many campus activities.

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