SSW students give back through community service and holiday cheer
December 20, 2012

Recently, first-year students in the Social Service Worker program completed a community service learning endevour, which required them to attend a local food bank or soup kitchen to experience the effects of poverty first-hand.

Three community partners were involved, the Sharing Place in Orillia, the Barrie Food Bank and the Light House. This project enabled students to integrate what they were learning in the classroom with direct experience by volunteering four hours of their time to one of the three agencies.

Students were required to write a reflection paper on the experience and then to collaborate with classmates on a presentation. The papers and presentations helped students put a face to the notion of poverty, and allowed them to apply textbook theory to a real-life situation.

This year, the Social Service Worker program developed a special partnership with the Sharing Place Food Bank in Orillia. Michael Taylor, a recent Georgian graduate, acquired the position of Operations Manager this year, and after speaking with Michael about how Georgian could be a community partner, our Social Service Worker program stepped up to help.

It was discovered that Orillia’s Sharing Place food Bank was always low on peanut butter; hence, an idea was born.

The peanut butter campaign came to life two weeks ago and wrapped up this week. Its goal was to raise 100 jars of peanut butter and with the incredible assistance and generosity of the Orillia Campus, 41 jars of peanut butter, six banker boxes of food and four large grocery bags of food were collected. In addition, more than $1,000 was raised.

“I would like to thank everyone for being so generous and helping make the peanut butter tree fundraising event for the local food bank in Orillia – the Sharing Place – such a success,” says Dr. Michael Kennedy, professor in the Social Service Worker program.

He notes the Orillia Campus, students and staff, have always been known for their spirit of giving and again, showed their true colours this year, adding this was only one of the many fundraising events on campus with the aim of giving back to our community.

“For everyone to join with us in this campaign, in addition to the other events you are involved in, I am truly thankful. Our spirit of giving is not a one-time event at Georgian, but an ongoing commitment to making a difference,” says Michael.