As people across the nation are partying and going door-to-door for candy this Halloween, CLU’s College Life club, the Community Service Center and resident assistants are leading campaigns to serve a greater good.
Trick or Treat, So Kids Can Eat, led by senior Chloe Golembesky, Trick-Or-Treat for Manna, led by resident assistant and junior Andrew Dowling and Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF, led by Community Service Center intern and senior Kelli Campa each have the same purpose: To start the season of giving early.
During the fall holiday this semester, Golembesky travelled with College Life on a service trip to Mexico where the club had a three-day stay at Rancho Sordo-Mudo, an orphanage in the city of Ensenada that is home to deaf and mute children and runs completely on donations.
Golembesky was moved by her experience there.
“Some of the foods were so questionable and sometimes there was not enough food for everyone,” said Golembesky. “That was eye-opening, to realize that not everyone can go up to the counter and order food. Not everyone can just go into their refrigerator and have all of this food.”
Golembesky was inspired and decided to take action to fight hunger in her own community.
“That encouraged me to go and do something influential for our community, because I don’t think it’s right that children have to go to bed hungry,” she said.
Through research Golembesky found that more than 16.5 million children go to bed hungry in America.
She spearheaded Trick or Treat, So Kids Can Eat and recruited other groups to join her in her cause.
Supported by students, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, California Lutheran University football, and College Life, Trick or Treat, So Kids Can Eat will collect canned goods which Ventura County Food Share will distribute to families that have signed up for aid.
The groups involved have been trick-or-treating since the first of the month for canned goods and are going trick-or-treating for non-perishables on Halloween.
They will meet at Dobkin Place in Simi Valley to drop off everything they have collected.
Dowling’s program, Trick-Or-Treat for Manna, works with a Conejo Valley food bank that helps provide for underprivileged families.
Dowling said that this is an off-campus program to provide help for communities surrounding California Lutheran University.
“I have participated since freshman year. I am big into community service and because I want to be a social worker, it is a big deal for me,” said Dowling. “I know the area and it is an application process to apply for food through Manna. I know it is necessary because sometimes they don’t have enough food to give to families.”
They promoted the event all month and Dowling will personally deliver the collections to Manna.
For Community Service Center coordinator Karen Schomaker, Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF is a simple campaign that has great meaning for the community.
“I am glad that students are involved in activities that engage them with the community. And more so that a lot of these activities are being initiated by the students themselves, and not something coming out of my office,” said Schomaker.
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is a non-profit organization that helps provide food, water, education and medical supplies for children and families in developing countries.
Led by Community Service Center intern Kelli Campa, Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF is an ongoing program where volunteers carry around a box and trick-or-treat for spare change.
After Halloween, the boxes will be collected and the money will be sent to UNICEF to help strengthen the organization.
The project leaders agree that next year a consolidation of the three campaigns will help strengthen the purpose of each and reach more people in Ventura County and beyond.
Published Oct. 31, 2012