This spring, all of our Ross Medical Education Center campuses were working hard to end hunger in their communities through food drives in their local areas. At our Ross campus in Saginaw, Michigan, the evening Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program students wanted to take their efforts a step further. In addition to spending a month collecting nonperishable food items to donate, they wanted to give more of themselves and their time.
As a whole, the Ross Saginaw campus had already decided to donate all foods and items to the local East Side Soup Kitchen. They have worked with this organization in the past and have always been impressed with the way that they are able to make a positive impact on the community while alleviating some of the pressure of not having enough to eat. Begun in 1980 in a local church basement with the vision of helping to feed those in need in the community, since that time East Side Soup Kitchen has grown to serve about 300 people for lunch each day!
Learning this, the Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration students wanted to learn first hand what goes into serving their neighbors. In order to do that, they decided to get together outside of their class time to prep and serve a lunch to the public at the soup kitchen. They discovered that it takes at least six volunteers to allow the soup kitchen to run smoothly. The generosity of the Ross students allowed everything to run effectively.
Staff and students were surprised by the diversity of the people that came to the soup kitchen while they were serving as there was a mixture of families, children, women, and men who were among the crowd being fed. “If you are able, please donate your time,” shared Tori Braidwood, Office Assistant. “Honestly it is a life-changing experience. We were very glad to be in our community serving the public a warm meal. On a lighter note, we were all crying while cutting the onions!” After volunteering, all of the students said they will be participating in more volunteering in the future and that they truly enjoyed their experience.
If you are interested in learning more or helping out, visit the East Side Soup Kitchen Facebook website at www.eastsidesoupkitchen.org.