On the night of Nov. 15, passerbys may have noticed a strange sight on Eastern’s campus: students sleeping outside.
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week occurred on Nov. 15-20,, and the group sleeping outside took part in one of the many events put on by student-run club Youth Against Complacency and Homelessness Today.
According to YACHT treasurer sophomore Rebecca Channing, the purpose of HAHA week was to “renounce complacency not only in each of our lives but in Eastern as an institution.”
This year, YACHT sponsored an event almost every day of the week to raise awareness. On Nov. 15, YACHT members invited students to a “Procession for the Kingdom” around campus to sing, meditate and pray for those in need.
On Nov. 16, a panel was held with members of Project HOME and Sister Mary Scullion, who has slashed Philadelphia’s homelessness rates in half.
On the morning of Nov. 17, YACHT gave a presentation at chapel. “We want people to see that communities still suffer from injustice,” said sophomore Mikah Ochieng, YACHT’s Service Learning Coordinator, “and that it is the role of godly men and women to work and suffer with the oppressed outcast, just as Christ did.”
The week culminated with an “Arts Day” in Philadelphia, where YACHT members and volunteers headed to Love Park armed with sidewalk chalk, bubbles and music to bring joy to an area that has seen much suffering.
If you missed the events last week, there is still a chance to become involved with YACHT. Every Thursday and Saturday, YACHT members travel into Philadelphia to hand out food and talk with the homeless. Any student may volunteer to go. No interview or commitment is required.
For students with tight schedules, YACHT offers a chance to donate your Saturday lunch through Sodexo.
YACHT member sophomore Briana Fortunato joined the club this year and encourages her fellow students to try it out. Working with YACHT “helps you put faces to statistics,” Fortunato said. “Everyone should try it out. It really opens your eyes.”