A Call to Serve the Fulton Community Hits Home
BY MATT MCCORMACK
SENIOR STAFF WRITER/TRANSLATOR
Leaders of Fulton’s nonprofits gather on campus to explain their individual missions and ask Westminster College for more volunteers to help accomplish them.
“Home” — it’s a place where people find comfort from those around them. Some may call Westminster College “a home away from home.” For students wondering how they can step outside their “college home” to make a difference in the local community, representatives of Callaway County United Way, Serve Inc., Fulton Soup Kitchen, and Our House spoke Thursday of their organizations’ missions, their dependence on volunteers, and their desire for Westminster College to have a greater presence volunteering in the local community.
The panel spoke to a room full of 30 students, including a handful of professors, as the audience enjoyed Playhouse Bistro sandwiches and chips in Hermann Lounge.
The event’s sponsor, the Office of Community Engagement, asked what the campus can do to get more involved in service. The organizations all agreed that they would like more volunteers from Westminster assisting the nonprofits.
Recently, the college has fallen short of partnering with these organizations. In previous years, an Advisory Committee notified students of service opportunities more often than it does today.
“I would love for that to get back up and running,” Megan Fletcher of the Callaway County United Way said about the Advisory Committee.
“We need you,” Lori Collins, a representative for the Fulton Soup Kitchen, said, reaching out to the campus for support.
The Callaway County United Way is an organization that encourages people to “live united.” This can be accomplished by giving an hour of time, a lending hand, a donation, or a voice of comfort.
Fulton Soup Kitchen feeds the hungry Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner. Fifteen people typically receive lunch, while dinner can bring a crowd of 30-80 people, according to Collins.
“We’re totally volunteer driven,” she added, saying that volunteers prepare and serve the food.
Our House, which cares for the homeless by providing shelter for a limited time, assists with providing access to health care and photo identifications for those in search of a job, and Serve Inc., a food pantry, transportation system and thrift store for the unmet needs of Callaway County, also had representatives at Thursday’s panel.
All of the organizations explained that there are myriad opportunities to serve in the local community, both during the weekday and weekend.
Examples include volunteering at the Fulton Soup Kitchen, which is within walking distance at the John C. Harris Community Center, during the week, or taking time out of the weekend to serve at the Clothes Cupboard.
Contact the Office of Community Engagement or Service Corps for more ways you can become involved with service on and off campus.