Every year on campus, Gannon participates in Hunger and Homelessness Week, a week on campus to raise awareness for those in need in our community. This year, Gannon joined hands with Catholic Charities and Second Harvest Food Bank to create a great new experience for students and the community.
Each on campus organization had the chance to make baskets full of food that were displayed in Waldron. During the week a penny war- in which students put pennies in jars to vote – for the best basket was held; all money made went to the Second Harvest Food Bank.
At the end of the week each group got to deliver their baskets to a Nepali
family here in Erie. This was my favorite part of the week. I, along with three other members of Alpha Psi Omega, got to meet Alisha Phuyel, age 4, and his family. The family had been stuck in camps in Nepal before coming to the United States. The Phuyel family has been here for five months now and seems to be happy.
Many barriers were realized as we tried to hold a conversation with the family, especially because only the father spoke broken English. However, with lots of hand gestures and my friend Conor’s knowledge of some Hindi phrases we were able to talk for a quite some time. They asked us why we came with food. Conor had a response that was very uplifting: he said we have a holiday coming up, Thanksgiving, and this was our way of “giving” to others. They were very grateful and Alisha liked the go fish cards we gave him. We got to try Nepali tea, which was the best thing I have tasted in a while.
I’m so happy that I was part of such a scary but satisfying experience. I hope Gannon does this again. Everyone should have the opportunity to indulge in a different culture; you never know what surprises will be in store.
Check out a video covering last year’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.