SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Not everyone will be heading home for the holidays. For some, there’s no home to go to.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner and Christmas closing fast, Wofford’s Bonner Scholars are doing their part to raise awareness of and collect donations for some of Spartanburg’s most vulnerable citizens. As part of the annual Hunger & Homelessness Week campaign, students on Tuesday, Nov. 17, manned information tables and gathered donations for St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic and Total Ministries.
Items can be dropped off to the Center for Community-Based Learning through next week.
“We’re primarily asking for food and personal care items,” says Marisa Barrera ’22, a biology and Spanish major from Gaffney, South Carolina, who helped organize Tuesday’s events. She recently began volunteering at St. Luke’s and hopes to stock the organization’s food pantry.
St. Luke’s mission is to provide healthcare for uninsured and underserved residents of Spartanburg County. Total Ministries provides food and financial assistance to county residents.
“Total Ministries is in need of many different things at this time,” says Barrera.
Juan Garcia ’23, a computer science major from Greer, South Carolina, was manning an info table outside the Burwell Building on Tuesday, says COVID-19 is adding to the strain of the coming holidays.
“We’re coming up on Thanksgiving and Christmas and we’re in the middle of a pandemic as well,” says Garcia. “A lot of people are struggling. This is a way for us to de-stress during exams and to help others at the same time.”
Ian Bethea ’24, an undeclared major from Latta, South Carolina, says Hunger and Homelessness Week helps spotlight the mission of the Bonner Scholars.
“Our program is dedicated to serving the community and helping as much as we can,” he says. “The holidays are coming, there’s COVID-19 and people are losing their jobs. “We want to support them as best we can.”