California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Cal Lutheran donates supplies to homeless educational program

California Lutheran University will be participating in a backpack and hygiene kit drive in efforts to give aid to homeless youth. This drive will end on May 2 and all of the donations that are raised will be given out by the LAUSD Homeless Education Program.

“Candidates in our School Counseling and College Student Personnel programs were eager to participate in making this drive a success, so we decided to invite our entire Cal Lutheran campus to participate,”Gail Uellendahl, the chair of the Department of Counselor Education and Professor of Counselor Education, said.

The idea to help out the homeless youth was sparked by Matthew Meyers, a senior adjunct professor who also works with homeless students in LAUSD. He brought attention to the rising number of students that are finding themselves to be homeless and in need of assistance.

“It started with a conversation with Gail about our homeless education program expanding and my new position. Gail came up with the great idea about the possibility of hosting a drive,” Meyers said. “We spoke about more about of basic items our students need and having CLU School of Education host a drive.”

What specifically inspired this drive was over 13,000 homeless students that are present in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

“Students and their families can become homeless at any time during the academic school year, so the need for both school and personal supplies is ongoing,” Uellendahl said.

Meyers also said by collaborating within the community, their department will not only be able to help homeless students with some of their economic hardships, but they will also be able to give these students encouragement to continue pursuing their education.

“School supply and/or hygiene kit drives help us in our efforts to meet the basic needs for these students,” Meyers said.

All of the donations will be handled by the Department of Counselor Education and Uellendahl.

“This drive is a reflection of our understanding that even the basic needs of children who are homeless are often not met,” Elizabeth Brennan, the Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education, said.

This drive is one of many efforts that show how this particular drive and other University collaborations go along with the Graduate School of Education’s vision to create an environment that encourages civility, compassion and curiosity.

“It is a match with the mission and vision of the GSOE because the trauma that a child who experiences homelessness must deal with plays out in all environments and impacts their ability to learn,” Brennan said. “By receiving a backpack, a child who is homeless knows there are people who care. I encourage everyone to support this effort.”

The Department of Counselor Education is a branch that advocates and supports high-risk and usually overlooked students in order to help decrease drop-out rates and increase the amount of students that are able to graduate from high school.

“The counselors and liaisons intervene on behalf of families to facilitate school enrollment, initiate referrals to school and community resources, and negotiate complex systems,” Meyers said. “Over the years, we have realized the necessity of community involvement in order to affect change.”

Donations that are accepted for this drive are new backpacks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and any other products that are related to quality hygiene. After all of the donations are received, they will be given out to students in need at LAUSD school sites.

“The current deadline for donation is May 2, but we will likely extend that to May 15 to provide folks with an extended opportunity to participate,” Uellandahl said.

Sarin Goncuian
Staff Writer
Published April 26th, 2016

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