Enid Logan, executive director of the Family Promise organization, gave a presentation on how students can help the local families in need on Thursday, Feb. 21.
According to their website, the goal of Family Promise is to help homeless and low-income families through community-based programs.
The presentation was hosted by the MedLife and PreMed clubs. The goal was to inform the students of both clubs of how they can benefit their community in becoming a volunteer.
“It’s really rewarding to volunteer and help homeless families,” said Morgan Buchter, president of ESU’s MedLife and PreMed club.
As the president of these clubs, she is the one who turned the traditional weekly meeting into a quick introduction of Family Promise.
“I was introduced years ago to this organization because I am a member of one of the churches that is used as a shelter by Family Promise.”
One of the ways this organization helps families is by providing evicted families with a nighttime shelter while helping them search for a new home.
“We are in desperate need for volunteers,” explained seriously Logan. This is where students come into play.
According to her, there are about five hundred regular volunteers but are looking for younger people to help out.
“Students are young, they have a lot of enthusiasm and energy and they are strong,” Logan said. “It’s what we need since most of our volunteers now are very much older.”
Logan wants to revitalize her volunteer staff that is why she is going to multiple clubs and churches to seek for volunteers.
She specified that volunteering for just a couple hours is better than nothing, but there is also the possibility to spend the entire night with the families.
“Students can also play with the children or read with them, interact with them so they are not just there sitting and watching TV during the day.”
Logan pointed out that this is not a parenting type of job. It is more about helping a family. Due to the cold weather and the increased heating bill, help is precious at this time of the year.
“I would like to think that a lot of students from the organizations would volunteer but I don’t think a lot would actually volunteer for the main reason that we are in college and transportation is difficult as well as timing,” said Butcher.
Logan indicated that two-part time drivers are working for Family Promise. They gather families around 5 p.m., they can pick up students at ESU before going to the shelter at 7 p.m. and bring them back the next morning.
Pre-Med students are more than welcome considering that some individuals in need to neglect their health. Butcher hopes that at least 5 to 10 members of the clubs would constituency be able to help local churches and the families.
“Even if the shelter is in a church there is no affiliation with the specific church,” she said, to avoid having students that can’t help because of that.
“I believe every student regardless of their major should volunteer in their community,” specified Daniel Houseworth, a junior with a Biology major and a Pre-Med concentration, that wants to volunteer himself.
According to Monroe County’s website, in 2015, 21 percent of households in the county were extremely low-income, and the homeless population was 2,410.
For more information visit www.familypromise.org or contact ESU Pre-Med club.
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