Volunteer eagles: small items can create a big impact


Emma Corry

Items will be collected for ECHO Housing Corporation in this box outside the Social Work Department.

Every other week the Shield will interview a student involved in volunteer work. This week, Danielle Lubbe and Katherine Childers talk about their class project to collect items for the ECHO Housing Corporation.

Danielle Lubbe said, with a little bit of help, people can get back on their feet.

The junior social work and Spanish major has been a part of a project for her Social Work Macro class where she gets to help collect donations for ECHO Housing Corporation (EHC). EHC is a non-profit agency that provides housing and assistance for homeless people.

The group has put a donation box outside the Social Work Department. They are looking for items that cover basic needs like clothes and toiletries, practical use like kitchen and bath supplies and fun like hot chocolate and puzzle books. The items will be given to EHC clients for the holidays.

Lubbe had never been involved in leading volunteer work before. Her group had to meet with a local agency for the project and they found out about EHC because Christopher Metz, an adjunct liberal arts professor, had worked there. 

He got them in contact with another employee for the agency and they were able to collaborate with EHC for the project. Lubbe said they were told that EHC needed donations for their single clients for Christmas.

Lubbe said EHC works with the homeless population by providing temporary housing, case management and resources to get them back on their feet.

Lubbe has headed the campus section of the drive and plans to advertise the project more through social media. The group has made flyers with a complete list of the needed items to be distributed around campus and they have reached out to professors.

She said they haven’t received many donations yet, but they are hopeful that it will improve once they advertise more and set up more boxes.

Lubbe said the project is important to her because she believes everyone deserves respect and they have value and dignity.

“I think that some people don’t always get the best situations in their life and if we can do something to help alleviate even just a little bit of what’s going on then it can be a huge help,” she said.

They will have the box out for two more weeks, but they are accepting donations until the end of the semester. 

Katherine Childers, a junior social work major, is also a part of the group and has helped the project by setting up a donation box at Faith Bible Church. She had done volunteer work before in high school where she brought donations on a mission trip for the homeless population in Michigan.

Childers said the project has been interesting and, although the items may seem small, they are a privilege to have.

“A small gift could mean a whole lot to individuals,” she said. “These items can really help them take out worry and stress in trying to get these items for their new home.”