DC Pay It Forward

Students from Defiance College’s social work Macro Practice with Communities and Organizations class recently conducted their annual Pay It Forward initiative and awarded $2,108.44 to the Sanctuary of Williams County, a shelter for the homeless in northwest Ohio. Pictured are (front row, from left) Arianna Richards, Piqua; Pastor Rob Bukowski, executive director for the Sanctuary of Williams County; Tiffany Bukowski; Abigail Cronin, Lambertville, Mich.; (back row, from left) Ashton Otte, Defiance; Jewel Isaac, Defiance; Sydney Zeuch, Mason; Shana Manz, Paulding; Danielle Carruthers, Wakeman; April Howard, Wauseon; and Alesia Yakos-Brown, Defiance College associate professor of social work.

DEFIANCE — Students from Defiance College’s social work Macro Practice with Communities and Organizations class recently conducted their annual Pay It Forward initiative during the fall semester. The course directly impacts community needs by awarding financial assistance. This year, 16 seniors in the class awarded $2,108.44 to the Sanctuary of Williams County, a shelter for the homeless in northwest Ohio that provides care to individuals in need and helps them rebuild their lives.

For 11 years, the DC class has awarded more than $23,000 to address needs of transportation, hunger, unemployment, poverty, education, youth mentorship and cultural understanding in northwest Ohio. With steps embedded in the curriculum, students conduct a five-county community assessment, prepare requests for grant proposals, send RFPs to approximately 50 non-profit social service agencies and award grants to applicants that best address the identified community need.

Originally, this project began in 2008 with funding through the Pay It Forward student-led philanthropy program led by Ohio and Kentucky Campus Compacts, and later with the support of the Women’s Giving Circle of Defiance. In recent years, the class has raised its own funds through a number of events such as raffles, bake sales, campus activities and donation solicitation. This semester, Drop Zone played a significant part by selling pizzas to raise funds and contribute $1,000 to the total award.

This year’s recipient, the sanctuary, will use the award to fund a new program in 2020 called “Rooting for Kids” to more effectively care for the unique needs of homeless children. The program aims to provide homeless children with stability and support in regard to struggles of identity, self-worth, education, and safety. This year alone, the Sanctuary of Williams County provided more than 4,700 nights of individual stay to homeless people in the area.

“We have seen dozens of people come here with no job, no money, and no hope in their eyes,” said Pastor Rob Bukowski, executive director for the Sanctuary. “We then see these folks find a job, build relationships, save money, get healthier, and experience the love of God and His people through local churches. We are thankful for all who partner with us in that work.”

(Information courtesy of Defiance College.)

 

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