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There are 17 clubs at Post University offering our campus and online students the opportunity to engage and discover their passions.  Today, we turned our University blog over to Jaclyn Marie Shea, president of the Emergency Management Homeland Security Club, to talk about the club’s volunteer activity with the St. Vincent DePaul Shelter, a shelter for the homeless in Waterbury.  Club members volunteered three-hours each Friday during the month of November.  Their efforts coincided with a month-long celebration of the John P. Burke School of Public Service and Education.

Contributing to making our communities better is part of the University’s mission and our students, alumni, faculty, and staff share that commitment to service both locally and in their hometowns.  We are proud to share stories about Post Eagles who are giving back.

As part of John P. Burke month, the Emergency Management & Homeland Security (EMH) student club has been volunteering at the St. Vincent DePaul Homeless Shelter. The time our EMH club volunteers spend at the homeless shelter has been very memorable and we have loved every second of it! Everyone there is going through something different and they all ended up at the shelter for different reasons. Some of them tell us their stories while others do not. It has been touching to see and hear what people have gone through and are going through on a day-to-day basis. When I ask them how their day was or what they did today, they talk about a million little things. It is obvious the people in the shelter do not want to be there and they are actively looking to get out and get a job.

The manager of the shelter has been very accommodating and explained to us what they do on a daily basis, giving us tours of the building so we can become familiar with the facility. People often think very negatively of homeless shelters but from volunteering a few weeks there I have gained some knowledge that made me view them in a very positive manner. For instance, every day before anyone can go into their rooms, they must take a shower. They receive a clean set of pajamas every night, their sheets get changed multiple times a week, even if the same person has been staying in them, and all the meals they get are home-cooked and healthy.

The most recent time we went, we cleaned and organized the children’s resource room, which is brand new and has books, games, and learning devices. There are also tutors available who come in to teach the children how to read and write if they are unable to get to a school. There are other volunteers who sit down with the residents often and help them find a job or housing. This type of volunteering is something that we all enjoy taking part in. You get a heart-warming, good feeling when you leave and remember how fortunate you are knowing that others are in much more difficult situations. This has been a very positive and rewarding experience for all of our club members and we are happy to be a part of it.