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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Brown baggin’ it for homeless

Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Students in Adela Graduate Hall make sandwiches for the homeless on Saterday Nove 13.
Valentina Martinelli
Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat Students in Adela Graduate Hall make sandwiches for the homeless on Saterday Nove 13.

Graduate students recognized National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week by making sandwiches for the homeless on Saturday.

The National Coalition for the Homeless sponsors the awareness week near Thanksgiving each year. Schools and communities are encouraged to organize events that raise awareness and benefit local organizations.

Residents in the La Aldea Graduate and Professional Student Apartments made and donated 300 bagged lunches to Casa Maria, a Catholic organization that provides food, clothing and support services for the poor and homeless. According to Casa Maria, they serve lunch to 600 individuals and give food bags to 200 families each day.

La Aldea staff organized the event as one of the hall’s service programs.

“”The idea is very simple,”” said Rebecca Covarrubias, community resident assistant at La Aldea and a psychology graduate student, “”it encourages residents to volunteer more.””

The event also served to unite the La Aldea community. Amanda Brobbel, coordinator of Graduate and International Student Housing, said La Aldea is one of the most diverse halls on campus. About 40 percent of its residents are international students.

“”That can also mean getting together to do something to benefit the outside community,”” she said. “”This is one way we can contribute.””

Optical sciences graduate student Julia Werra packaged cookies for the lunch bags, which also included bologna and cheese sandwiches and bananas.

“”I never had the chance to go (to Casa Maria) and help,”” Werra said. “”It’s nice to at least help out a little.””

Werra is an international student from Germany and said she has benefited from the opportunity to attend the UA.

“”We have privilege because we can study here,”” Werra said. “”There are people who don’t have money, and they need support somehow.””

James Tokishi, a transportation engineering graduate student who attended the event, said it was the first time he served the homeless.

“”They put up the little fliers all over the place,”” Tokishi said. “”I saw that and said, ‘OK. It sounds like something to do.'””

La Aldea has held similar programs in previous years, which normally draw between 10 and 20 residents. The residence hall’s community room also has donation bins where people can leave gently used clothing and other items for Casa Maria.

“”The residents here are pretty good about filling up the bins,”” said Covarrubias, who takes the donations to Casa Maria biweekly.

Casa Maria is a perfect place to donate to because of its close proximity to the UA, she said.

“”They’re just greatly appreciative of anything they can get,”” Covarrubias said.

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