Inside of YACHT Awareness Week!: The YACHT club hosts a series of activities to spread awareness about homelessness.

      Eastern University was pleased to host another   HAHA week, organized by the YACHT club on Campus.  YACHT stands for Youth Against Complacency and Homelessness Today.  The group makes frequent trips to Philadelphia, giving sandwiches to the homeless.  This week, called HAHA for short, stands for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week.  It was originally started in 1975 by Villanova University.

      The point of the week is to make the campus aware of those experiencing homelessness, and to hopefully extend this message beyond the bounds of the campus.  This week, hosted from November 12th- November 16th consisted of activities open to the student body.  This year the YACHT club partnered with Manoa Community Church in Havertown, the student chaplains, watchman prayer ministry, the Student Government Association, and Broad Street Ministries.

      On Monday, the Student Government Association and YACHT hosted an Ice Cream Night.  The funds for this night went towards buying winter clothing for the homeless in Philadelphia, who often ask for gloves to keep their hands warm.  The Ice Cream Night had a turnout of about twenty-five people, and the YACHT club was very happy with both the turnout and the profits for the winter clothing.

      On Tuesday the YACHT club and eleven student volunteers went to Manoa Community Church.  This church runs a homeless shelter in November at night.  The homeless come, are given a meal, and are able to spend the night.  YACHT and the Manoa Community Church are very grateful for the eleven student volunteers who dedicated their time to helping the homeless.  They had a lot of great conversations with the homeless who came and YACHT club is looking forward to organizing this outing again in the future.

      On Wednesday night, YACHT club organized a prayer walk around campus with Watchmen Prayer Ministry, an idea inspired by a prayer walk they had done around New York last year.  During this walk they stopped and prayed at McInnis for education, the Health Center for health, the water wheel for clean water, Gallup Hall for shelter, and Breezeway for food.  Seventeen people came and did the prayer walk.  This was a great turn-out, and the walk was a very spiritual time to thank God for what He has blessed us with and that those in need would have access to these things as well.

      On Friday the YACHT club had Reverend Laura Colee speak at Windows on the World. During this time, she spoke about how we can show hospitality to the homeless.  It was a powerful message, and she touched on the anxiety involved with not having enough.  Groups like YACHT might struggle with this on occasion.  It is hard to tell people in need that the resources being given out are all gone.  Thankfully, awareness of the hungry and homeless is being brought to light, and people like the students at Eastern are able to take time and go serve those in need.  With more and more people going to help the hungry and homeless, a brighter future is being painted.

      Lastly, on Saturday YACHT had their usual Philly outing where they took sandwiches to the homeless in Philly and had conversations with them.  There are many recurring homeless people in Philly who wait for the Eastern students on Saturdays because they enjoy the company.  It is very encouraging to see the enjoyment on the homeless’ faces when they have someone to talk to.

      YACHT had a very successful HAHA week, and will keep hosting this week every year.  Some of the activities were more successful than others, and will be done again next year.  YACHT welcomes new student volunteers and encourages students to join in on their outings to Philadelphia.  The student body is very grateful for YACHT and the message of HAHA week and looks forward to the more supportive awareness weeks to come.

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