By: Jessica Schrader
Editor: Jessica Orlidge
As part of lessons on American culture during the holidays, the Compass members at GPLC – Prospect Park developed a donation drive in which many of their English as a Second Language (ESL) students participated. The ESL students are refugees who know what it’s like to be unable to afford certain items, and they were more than willing to share what little they do have with those who have even less.
Items donated include shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, socks, pencils, erasers, and notebooks. In just over a week, students brought in approximately 300 of these items and more. The donations were then given to the Light of Life Rescue Mission*, an organization which then distributed them to the homeless.
The donation drive served as a stepping stone for several lessons. Students were shocked to find out that there were homeless people in America, let alone in Pittsburgh, but they also learned about American traditions of giving to the less-fortunate, especially around the holidays. More advanced students also learned about the suffix -less.
While students benefitted from the lessons, those who gained the most are the people who received any of the 300 items that were generously given by the students.
*Compass members also participated in a service project at Light of Life, serving lunch to the men staying at the mission. There are many weekend volunteer opportunities available there should anyone be looking for service projects!