Social Work Club Gives Back To Community With Events

Colleen Garrison, Copy Editor

The Social Work Club has several community outreach programs slated for this semester.

Events are designed to raise awareness of community issues and demonstrate what can be done to make the community a better place to live.

“Our events benefit others by performing service for Misericordia University and the surrounding community, as well as forming a social work identity,” said Victoria Scofield, junior social work major and club president.

The Hunger Challenge, which began  Oct. 13, targets eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and other similar diseases. According to the Mayo Clinic, in EoE, a type of white blood cell builds up in the lining of the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. This buildup, which results from reaction to foods, allergens or acid reflux, can inflame or injure the esophageal tissue. Damaged esophageal tissue can lead to difficulty swallowing or cause food to get caught during swallowing.

“This event brings awareness that hunger is not always experienced because a person cannot afford food, but because a disease has negatively affected the body’s system, ” said Scofield.

Spare Change for Social Change is a fundraiser to benefit local community resources related to hunger and homelessness. The event will take place from Oct. 19 to Nov. 15.

“It is a type of penny war challenge where students in the residence halls on campus and families residing in the Women with Children houses will “fight” to raise more money than the other residence halls.  Coins count towards the total while bills take away from the total.  This is a way to sabotage the other halls,” Schofield said

During November, the club will connect with the local Dinner for Kids program to identify and adopt a family that needs assistance celebrating Thanksgiving with a dinner. The club will raise funds to buy food for meals.

The Ruth’s Place “Queen for a Day” event has a tentative date of Nov. 8.

“The club will be going to Ruth’s Place Women’s Shelter to pamper the residents,” said Scofield.

A local cosmetology school will style hair and provide manicures while social work club members make dinner for the women at the shelter.

Square Meals is an ongoing program in which members make meals for the homeless in Wilkes Barre. The social work club will help to make and distribute the meals. Members will also locate and purchase food products as needed.

The social work club is open to all majors. Its purpose is to develop a social work identity through community service and interpersonal relationships via networking, said Scofield.

“Social work majors are encouraged to join and be active within the club,” said Sandra Pace, senior social work major and club vice president.

Scofield said she joined the club for many reasons. “Well for me, it was because I was a social work major and I wanted to meet the other social work majors and begin to network outside of the school’s community.”

The club is looking for new members.

“There is no requirement to join but to be a member in good standing and to possibly eventually be on the board, a member must come to at least two meetings, work on a fundraiser for at least two hours, and a service project for at least two hours. These are new rules we started to hopefully bring in some new people and get a little more involvement in the club,” Scofield said.

Pace is proud to be graduating into the social work field, and she said her experiences will pay off.

“I take pride in my chosen profession.  I want this school to know how great we are as a profession.”

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