Special to SIUECougars.com by Taylor Joens
Earlier this year we got to partner with local Rotarians in order to pack meals to ship to Nicaragua. We spent a few hours working together packing different foods that ended up creating 25,000 meals for people in need. We learned from the organization we worked with that the meals are very sustainable and also provide families with all the necessary nutrients that they require. Partnering with a local organization gave us an opportunity to help our own community and allow us to have a great learning experience.
We had the opportunity to visit Beverly Farms, home to 400 people who live with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and put on a dance party. Residents joined us for games and dancing at a beach-themed party. I got the opportunity to meet some amazing people and hear about their lives and their time living at Beverly Farms. I also got to limbo with some of the residents, which you could tell they loved!
Food Drive with Glen-Ed Pantry/ASAP:
During one of our last community service events of the year we worked with the Alliance of Student Against Poverty Food Drive and the Glen Ed Food Pantry. What was so cool about this event is that it had such a huge impact on the Edwardsville community. Our team split up into different cars and went to assigned neighborhoods and picked up food and supplies that community members left out for donation. We then took these donations to the pantry and got them ready for distribution to the community. It was so cool to see how giving everyone can be in order to help people in need living right here in Edwardsville.
Getting to volunteer for the Special Olympics is always such a blast. This is the second year we have been able to be outside and work with the athletes. My specific job was to record the athletes' measurements for both the standing long jump and the running long jump. During our time working with the different athletes, we learned just how exciting and important these events were to them. You could see the joy in their faces each time they had the opportunity to compete. We also got see some of the people we worked with at Beverly Farms compete in different events which was so fun to see!