It’s not every day students get to make sandwiches during class – and get graded on it.Students in the generalist practice with communities class and a few volunteers met at University Christian Church and made about 575 sandwiches to distribute to the homeless at the Presbyterian Night Shelter on Wednesday.
Sawyer Powers, a junior social work major, said she and her classmates have participated in service projects on their own, but were excited to do a group project.
“One of the major goals of our class was awareness and to make people aware that hunger and homelessness are close to home, part of the community,” Powers said.
The kitchen was abuzz with students spreading mustard and assembling meat and cheese during their 2 p.m. class Wednesday. In the evening, they went to the shelter to distribute their sandwiches and interact with the homeless, Powers said.
Powers said the class originally wanted to make the sandwiches in the Student Center Lounge, but was told students needed a place that followed the proper sanitation and food-handling rules. She said they needed to find a location at the last minute that had a food-handler’s license and was still close to campus.
Alicia Hawley, a junior social work major and a member of University Christian Church, said she got permission from the church to use its kitchen for their project.
Money for the sandwich supplies was donated by TCU’s National Association of Social Workers, which many of the students in the class belong to.
Also, this week from Monday to Thursday, Powers said, students organized a food drive throughout campus with collection boxes in every dorm, Greek house, The Main, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Potbelly Sandwich Works.
Leslie Lovett, the social work professor teaching the class, said juniors enroll in her class every year and are given the task of meeting a need in the community.
“This is what social workers do,” Lovett said. “We identify an unmet need and advocate that need.”
But addressing hunger and homeless needs were not the students’ only concerns.
Hawley said her class started planning the project at the beginning of the semester. She said everyone had so many different ideas that they decided to incorporate as many of them as possible to raise awareness not only at TCU, but also throughout Tarrant County.
The week after Thanksgiving break, the class will have a clothing drive for women at Safe Haven of Tarrant County to make students aware of domestic violence, Hawley said. She said a representative from Safe Haven of Tarrant County will also speak to students Nov. 26.
At the end of the semester, the students will be graded on their project in a presentation to the chancellor, the provost, the dean, faculty of the Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences and other invited staff. The presentation will describe the work students put into the project and the knowledge and skills they have gained, Lovett said.
Lovett said a lot of people only talk about how they can help the community, but “these students are doing something.