In the spirit of Thanksgiving, more students are focusing on helping people less fortunate than themselves. The Social Work Student Association hosted a donation drive last week to benefit low income families from City Springs Elementary School in Baltimore. They accepted canned goods as well as warm clothes, toys and personal hygiene products.
For SWSA, this type of giving spans more than just Thanksgiving. The social work students are passionate about helping people and hold these drives throughout the semester.
“It sounds a little hokey, but I really love people,” said Daniel Heckman, a senior social work major. “I love making people happy and bringing resources to them.”
There are two types of assemblies held by SWSA: meetings that are held twice a month with guest speakers and presentations that focus on social issues.
“We try to coordinate various volunteer events throughout the semester that social work, or non-social work majors can participate in,” Heckman said.
The donation drives typically benefit organizations and schools where social work majors have internships. In addition to the drives, SWSA has worked with organizations such as Meals on Wheels Baltimore, Homeless Connection, Santa’s Helpers and Native American Lifelines.
For people who missed the donation drive for City Springs Elementary School, there are plenty more opportunities to help out.
“There are always drives going on,” Heckman said, “especially this time of the year.”
Duane Eggerman, a senior who is also majoring in social work and minoring in psychology, feels that SWSA’s events have been going well this year. Their most recent drive had two boxes set out which have filled up and have needed to be emptied a few times already.
Eggerman has been working hard at increasing SWSA’s web presence on myUMBC, Facebook and Instagram. As a result, he has seen an increase in membership since last year.
“In the past, we got a little bit too narrow,” Eggerman said. “My slogan for this year is: we’re more into social work.”
Social work is especially important to Eggerman because he has had help from social workers in the past. Now he is able to give back by offering assistance to others in need.
“We all have the same goal in social work: to help other people,” Eggerman said.
SWSA exemplifies those sentiments through their actions. Eggerman elaborated, “if anybody ever wants to contact us, if they need something, if they have something to give, we’ll put it out there and let people know.”