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by Kristine Ternate, News Writing

 

These people are homeless or disadvantaged. They have no place to go at night. You see them sleeping in parks, in doorways, on the beaches, under the freeways.

Some of them work and have regular jobs, but most don’t have anything. They may lack skills, or may be physically unable to work. Some of them are trying and have just not been able to succeed. Whatever the reason, they need help.

Our community offers shelters, missions, aid programs, food banks, and public and private services to its homeless and its needy. Some of these are funded with public money, but most of them operate on donations of goods and services. No matter the funding sources, many could not exist without volunteers.

That’s us. Or at least it could be, and maybe should be. Not only can we help the homeless by volunteering, for example, at River of Life Mission—just a few blocks down Pa‘uahi Street from our campus—we can also help preserve the environment by volunteering with the Sierra Club or the Hawai‘i Nature Center. Or we can help other community organizations—the Friends of the Library, for example, who hold annual book sales at most of the island library branches and use the proceeds to buy computers and other equipment for the library.

Starting this summer, the students in Journalism 3300, the News Writing classes, will report stories on HPU students who are helping out and on community organizations that can use our help—either as volunteers or as providers of donations of books or money or food.

What benefits the community generally benefits all who live in the community. There are many different ways to acknowledge our connections to those with whom we live and the environments in which we live, and these stories will present some ideas about how we can give back.

John Windrow, HPU’s new full-time journalism instructor, is excited about the project.

“ We’re hoping writing and reporting these stories will give students good practical experience, and, at the same time, offer a way to help the community.”
 

 

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