How My Friends and I Give Back

November 15th, 2013 by Student Blogger
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By Sakhile Vanqa

Volunteers at Manna Cafe Taken from Manna Cafe UMC Facebook Page

Volunteers at Manna Cafe
Taken from Manna Cafe UMC Facebook Page

The holidays are getting nearer—it’s getting cold, the trees are naked, and Christmas has lost its place on the calendar and begun showing up in places like early November. Poor Thanksgiving, upstaged again this year. Everyone knows that at their core, these holidays are a time to appreciate what you have. But if you just take a walk in any direction, you’ll see people whose lives are less fortunate than so many others.

There are organizations established in Columbus that do what they can to aid in making the lives of people less fortunate a little more comfortable, whether it be giving them a shelter or easing their worries about their next meal.

If giving back to the community is something that truly fulfills you, it’s easy to get in touch with people in the community and peers on campus that can point you in the direction.

Broad Street United Methodist Church, just a block away from CCAD, holds their Manna Café every week—an event that serves between 200–300 meals to less fortunate families and individuals who enjoy spending time with one another and sharing a sense of community. It is one of the most beautiful things to observe.

Food for all! Taken from Manna Cafe UMC Facebook Page

Food for all!
Taken from Manna Cafe UMC Facebook Page

I had never been exposed to that lifestyle back home in South Africa and Botswana because the less fortunate had a bad reputation of being dishonest, and sometimes inflicting harm on those that could not help them. I imagine that 12–year–old me would be shocked to hear that I went to a kitchen to serve the same people he’d worked so hard to avoid, unaware that everyone was different.

The resounding truth that stands with what Broad Street UMC does is love. You feel it, you see it, everyone is on the same brainwave, and those who don’t get it will quickly catch on.

CCAD holds its own club that gives back to people in need, called Give Back Community Service. I am not a part of the group, but they work on various projects throughout the year. In the past the group has painted murals, worked with nonprofit organizations, volunteered at festivals and events, coordinated food drives, and more. Knowing how busy students all tend to get, the group plans projects that are fun breaks from homework with only small time requirement each week.

L to R Lauren Engle, Nick Wiess, Synclaire Kaptur, Camika Blackwell

From left to right, Lauren Engle, Nick Weiss, Synclaire Kaptur, and Camika Blackwell

Although most people’s idea of college means divorcing yourself from the person you used to be, sometimes your past can come in very handy. Take Lauren Engle, for example. Lauren is in her junior year here at CCAD, and came up with the great idea to involve CCAD in making Christmas cards for the children at the children’s hospital. Lauren was involved in a similar event in high school and thought that creating art was a great way for CCAD students to give back. She contacted the organizers and it was only matter of time before the ball was rolling. The project is still in its development stages, and everyone involved is really excited to see this come to fruition.

It’s good to give back.

Sakhile Vanqa is a junior majoring in Cinematic Arts who enjoys humor, cycling, and aspires to shoot for National Geographic.

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