Scholars Help the Homeless in Honor of MLK Day

SOME

On January 19, 2016, SOME (So Others Might Eat) hosted Fulbright Visiting Scholars for a one day volunteer event in Washington, DC in honor of the great Martin Luther King Jr. The purpose of the event was to enlighten Scholars about America’s spirit of volunteerism, and to educate them on the problem of homelessness and poverty that looms over the city.

Despite the coldness in the air, it was a beautiful day. The event was attended by several Fulbright Visiting Scholars from 7 different countries, and some Fulbright Staff. It was moderately representative of what Martin Luther King Jr. expressed in his “I Have a Dream” speech; they were men and women of different ages and from different races.

After five minutes of what seemed similar to old friends playing catch up, the group was formally and graciously welcomed by Samantha Davis, an advocacy specialist at SOME. Samantha presented the group with a wide range of interesting, but saddening information. The group learned about the current status of homeless residents in DC, SOME’S general work, and programs within SOME that are actively advocating for homeless and low income residents in the Washington D.C area.

Thereafter, the group was divided into smaller groups and went to work. For four delightful hours, Fulbright Scholars and staff dedicated their time to serving hot meals, washing piles of dishes, and cleaning tables for homeless and low income people in DC. Everyone that entered the room left with a smile on their face.

In the end, the group left with a new sense of responsibility and commitment to eradicate the problem of homelessness and poverty one individual at a time.

Fulbright Scholars

Fulbright Visiting Scholars from China, Indonesia, Albania, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Australia, and Hong Kong volunteering at SOME

Fulbright Scholars Give Back at the Westside Food Bank

Scholars in California recently took the time to give back to their community and help the homeless. They began the day with a visit at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit organization that researches topics relevant to public policy. For this program, they provided insight based on their research on homelessness and homeless populations in the United States, a relevant topic to the work of several scholars.

A scholar responds to the RAND speakers

A scholar responds to the RAND speakers

Following this thoughtful briefing, scholars went to a Santa Monica homeless shelter to hear about their work at the shelter and with low income housing placements. The discussion was inspiring for scholars, who responded in turn with diligent efforts at their next location, the Westside Food Bank. Here, scholars assisted in boxing oranges for distribution, and left the event feeling that their actions had made a difference.

Sorting oranges at the Food Bank!

Sorting oranges at the Food Bank!