By Delvakio Brown
Winter break is a perfect time for students to relax, enjoy a few weeks away from homework, and spend time with their family. But that’s just not enough for some students at Tennessee State University. A few students took winter break as an opportunity to give back and volunteer. Sophomore chemistry major, Treasure Giddens, got involved with HBCU Service Day in her hometown Detroit, Michigan. Treasure along with students from various historically black colleges and universities packed blessing bags. Three homeless shelters benefited from the bags. They were filled with socks, gloves, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, hats, scarves, and handwritten cards to uplift the homeless.
Sophomore communications major, Brandon Robinson, kept himself occupied the whole break with various community service projects. He helped out at the Summerfield Nursing Home by helping feed the residents and assisting with the activities and games. He also served as host for the University of Louisville Upward Bound Program for the annual Christmas party and chaperone for the school dance at Shacklette Elementary School.
Miss. Tennessee State University, Tyra Laster helps with Feed the Hungry & Homeless every chance she gets. Over break she served as security for an event.
Sophomore dental hygiene and health science double major, Kelli Harris, helped her mother’s chapter of Eastern Star. She helped provide Christmas dinners for unfortunate families in her community. The project impacted three families in Union City, Georgia and two families in College Park, Georgia.
Miss. Sophomore, Jeneisha Harris takes no breaks from her royal duties while away from school. She helped with Christmas basket giveaways at her old high school, Melrose in Memphis, Tennessee. She helped pass out baskets to the less fortunate and gave away Kroger gift cards.
We all can learn from participating in community service. Rather it’s realizing a bigger picture in life or coming together with others with the same mindset to serve, community service makes a difference. “It was like putting a little piece of myself into a bag that would brighten someone’s day”, stated Giddens after she reflected on her experience of creating blessing bags. She also enjoyed connecting with other HBCU students from Detroit who have a mindset of making it in life to make their city better. While together they thought of ways to encourage middle and high school students to attend HBCU’s and let them know anything is possible for the near future. Harris was touched at the fact that people can go through so much behind their smile. “You never know what they’re going through until you see it for yourself on the inside. What I learned is that it’s okay to smile through your hard times because blessings and better days are coming,” stated Harris. These students prove the motto of “Think, Work, Serve” to be true at Tennessee State University through their actions during the semester and on break.