At the beginning of each academic year, Point Park University’s prestigious Honors Student Organization chooses a local nonprofit organization as its Donation Drive recipient. Much to our delight, this year’s recipient was Sojourner House. Approximately 120 students brought their donations to the organization’s Aug. 19 Welcome Dinner. The huge amount of donations included cleaning supplies, toiletries, hygiene products, paper towels, and other household supplies.
“We started the tradition of a carry-in donation drive some years back with our new honors students, to not only continue the tradition of service that many of them started in high school, but also to get them to move up to service learning,” said Helen Fallon, Professor of Journalism, Director of the University Honors Program at Point Park University. Fallon oversees Point Park University’s Honors Student Organization. “Each year, the student leaders pick a nonprofit that we should know and learn more about as members of the greater Pittsburgh community. I am always overwhelmed by their generosity, and we love to invite a speaker from that organization to present just what it does and how it helps its clients and more. This effort teaches a lesson better than any research or classroom assignment and enables them to realize the importance of paying it forward, too, to make a difference.”
“Every year for our Honors Welcome Dinner, we choose a different organization to support through carry-in donations,” said Kelsey Wolfe, President of the University’s Honors Student Organization. “This year, as president, I wanted to focus on an organization that deals with women specifically. Sojourner House had visited one of my public relations classes last year to talk about what they do, and I knew we had some Point Park connections. With their work with women, Sojourner House seemed like the perfect fit for the carry-in project! I love the idea of a carry-in project. It’s easy for our students to get involved in service as soon as they step foot on campus. The Honors Program is always happy to support organizations that are making a difference in people’s lives!”
According to Sojourner House’s Interim Executive Director Susan Orr, who spoke at the dinner, a lot of the donations came from incoming Freshmen.
“I was in awe of the great interest the students took in the presentation, and the great interest they took in supporting Sojourner House,” Orr said. “As a (1993 Journalism and Communications) Point Park alumna, I was so proud of such an extraordinary group of young adults carrying the torch at Point Park.”