Issue 418: 4 / 9 / 2012

International Studies "Door of Hope" Service-Learning Project

Donations collected for the Door ...

Donations collected for the Door of Hope.

International Studies participant Alisha Denley shares her personal Service-Learning experience with the Door of Hope.

International Studies was taking suggestions for service-learning and I e-mailed Felicia Hankins [specialist, International Education Program]. I was so excited when she said that she would allow us to set up donations for the Door of Hope. They are always in need of supplies to help their guests get settled in their new homes or make everyday life a little easier while on the streets. Felicia sent out an e-mail and the donations came flooding in. I didn't realize how extensive it [the amount of items donated] was until I went to go pick up everything. It took multiple trips from both Southwest campuses to the Door of Hope.

The Door of Hope is a nonprofit [agency] that benefits Memphis' homeless. They assist people with housing, receiving medical attention, applying for eligible benefits, providing transportation, and they help connect their guests with local agencies that provide clothing and showers. They also help the guests re-integrate into the community with jobs, community gardens, and a writers group. It is located at 258 N.Merton in Memphis.

I was exposed to the Door of Hope by my friends Liz Ray and David Fletcher who both work for this nonprofit. They gave me an opportunity to volunteer to help serve dinner and then help with Christmas festivities for the guests of the Door of Hope. After being exposed to such big-hearted employees and some great people that have just been down on their luck; I try my best to help when I can.

I picked up and delivered the donations to Door of Hope on March 13. When I started bringing in the donations to Door of Hope, they were amazed at the amount of supplies that were received. A lot of the guests are not housed but some are lucky enough to be placed. One employee came in and said that she could finally give one of the guests a shower curtain they had asked for instead of having to use the plastic that initially was used to protect their mattress.

These things we don't think about on a daily basis, it's hurry here and rush there and "I need." But do we really need? Can we make time to help others? For me, this was an opportunity to involve Southwest with the Door of Hope, to promote support to others not so fortunate at this time and to hopefully bring a little awareness. If you would like to volunteer your time or give donations please contact dohmemphis@gmail.com. Thanks again for the kindness of the International Studies program and its students.

I hope that the students understand how truly appreciated their donations were and how much it affects those that have nothing.