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A Day Without Shoes: Taking Things for Granted

For a number of years, Hood College students have participated in One Day Without Shoes, an event designed to create awareness about world poverty and the things we take for granted—shoes and sight. Toms, an organization committed to helping those in need, and its eight international organization partners team up each year for this fun, yet meaningful event. And throughout the year, with every shoe or eyewear product purchased from Toms, the organization donates a like item to individuals who can’t afford them.

Hood students joined thousands of students on campuses across the country who are concerned about world poverty. Even though the music was blasting on the Whitaker Campus Center patio, the mission was serious. The pile of donated shoes, which grew throughout the afternoon, made a clear statement: Hood students care and are committed to service and helping those less fortunate.

Students in Tim Jacobsen’s photojournalism class recorded the day’s events, which can be viewed on YouTube.

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Students Dig a Gorgeous Day

So what does one do when the sky is blue, the temperature hits 75 degrees and the shorts are begging to be pulled out of storage? Plant flowers, of course! Students gathered one warm afternoon before exams to help enhance the already beautiful campus with colorful annuals. Organized by the facilities department, the activity attracted a number of students, including senior Elaheh Eghbal and sophomore Travis Gilbert, who gladly volunteered to take a break from their studies to dig in the dirt, spread around some mulch and plant red petunias around the Pergola on the residential quad. Even President Volpe, known to never let an opportunity to work side by side with students pass him by, joined in the fun and got his hands dirty.

By the time commencement rolls around in a few days, the beds will be in full bloom, adding a spectacular display of color to the center of campus.

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Alternative Spring Break Trips

Students have just returned from spring break and many, along with Hood faculty, staff and alumni, spent their time making a difference for hundreds of people in Alabama, Frederick and Haiti.

In Haiti, five students were joined by Michael Coon, assistant professor of economics; Provost Kate Conway-Turner and her daughter Jameela; and Frederick dentist and 1981 alumnus Peter Cha and his wife, Sandy, a dental hygienist, who provided much needed dental services to 94 Haitians, many of whom had never been to a dentist! Read the Frederick News Post’s story about how the Chas have made a difference for people in need in Haiti and in other communities.

Hood students—Drake Halpern, Elaheh Eghbal, Jessica Morales, Greg Eyler and Fabiola Jean-Louis—spent the week learning about this complex and struggling country, and engaged in service projects to aid the residents of Borgne, a mountainous community in the northern part of the island nation where the majority of families are scattered in clusters within the mountains that surround the city.  They painted a mural for an elementary classroom, engaged in an enrichment project for children in an early education program, traveled into the mountains to help set up a mobile clinic and visited a number of sites to observe how residents cope with poor roads, few jobs, inadequate fresh water, no electricity and a host of social issues.

An eye-opening experience, to be sure.