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  • Jon Dusza, News Editor

Canisius Students Work to Benefit Homeless Shelter

This semester, a class being offered at Canisius is making a direct impact in the local community. The class, called strategic communication in teams, is doing multiple projects this semester that will benefit Family Promise of Western New York. Family Promise is a homeless shelter that provides assistance particularly to homeless families. According to its website, over 70% of its guests are children. The Griffin talked to members of a few of the class’s groups.

One of the groups is called the Keeping Promises team. The goal of their group is to raise money and donate books to children in need. The target age of children who will receive the books is 6- to 13-year-olds, an important time in a child’s life. A group representative, Nicholas Parody, told The Griffin, “Our group decided to help Family Promise with donating books, because we all agreed that growing up, books had a huge impact on our childhood. We wanted to have the children of Family Promise experience those same feelings we had growing up.” The goal is to raise $200, all of which will be spent on books for donations.

Another group is called the Golden Girls team, who plan to donate adult coloring books and journals to the shelter. “This project is very important for the individuals living at Family Promise,” group representative Jaelynn Aponte said. “These journals and coloring books can contribute to mental health and help them relax.”

In order to fund the books and journals, the group is raising money through bottles from bottle drives. Information regarding the bottle drives are on posters throughout campus, as well as in emails.

“Our group is solely inspired by the act of being a helping hand,” Aponte said. “We’re all very excited to be able to contribute and ultimately make a difference.”

Team B.L.U.E. is researching and offering different educational opportunities for both young children and teens of Family Promise. The premise is that each month will have a different theme, like Black History Month or Disability Month or something else of the sort, and create fun, engaging and memorable educational activities. But the goal of the project goes beyond mere education. Khalil Gordon, a representative of their group, said, “Imparting lessons about women's history, animal welfare, or environmentalism is all well and good, and we assuredly hope to be successful in that as well, but creating a feeling of togetherness among the kids and teens at Family Promise is our primary goal.” The group has already come up with ideas for themes and lessons, but is encouraging other people with ideas to share them with the group.

The Meat Raffle team, as the name would suggest, is working to raise money for a meat raffle. The group is working on bringing more attention to a future meat raffle — the proceeds of which will go towards Family Promise — through social media posts and other outreaches. “The meat raffle is a great way for Family Promise to raise money, so we wanted to help get more people there and buy tickets to help Family Promise to raise more money,” their group spokesperson, Shane Hurd, said. The meat raffle is still in the works, but in the meantime, the group wants people to help Family Promise however else they can.

For updates on the meat raffle and/or to learn about other ways to contribute to Family Promise’s cause, keep an eye out for information posted around campus and sent via email, or go to Family Promise’s website

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