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PSU senior projects are helping the community in big ways

For her senior project in social work, PSU student Brenna Forbes is collecting nonperishable food items and monetary donations for Westside Elementary school.  

Forbes has known for a while that she wanted to help Westside Elementary school.  

“So, it was at the beginning of the semester when I thought of this,” Forbes said. “For our class, this is a project we do and this is the first place I thought of that I wanted to benefit automatically and that’s because at the beginning of our social work experience, we take a class where we get to go around and view helping professions and I actually got to go to Westside school. So, I got to see all the good things they can do for their students and that really made me want to help them out.”  

The project is important to Forbes as she believes no child should ever need to be concerned about their next meal and whether or not they will get one that day.  

“So, I was never a kid who had to worry about going home and worrying about if dinner was gonna be on the table,” Forbes said. “… I don’t think that should be a worry for a child when they come home, are they gonna get to eat dinner before they go to bed tonight? So, that’s one of the biggest things for me.”  

With school being cancelled due to COVID-19, children are home all day every day and may not have access to food like they used to at school.  

“… At Westside Elementary, they have over 400 students enrolled and over 80% of them are on free or price reduced lunches,” Forbes said. “So, to be on price reduced lunches, they have to fall under the poverty line. So, that means a lot of them, their families struggle with things like putting food on the table at dinner time. So, this will help these students especially in this time since school has been cancelled because of the Coronavirus. So, this will help them have meals at dinner time (and) at lunch time since they’re home for all three meals now. It will help over the summer as well.”  

Like many others, Forbes had to adjust her plans for the project. Instead of having boxes around town for donations, Forbes has a Venmo account for monetary donations. If you would like to donate items, you can reach out to Forbes through her Facebook page which has her preferred email address and phone number.   

“So, I originally wanted to have boxes at Pitt State and around town but since the coronavirus and the stay at home order, you’re only supposed to leave for essential activities, I have made a Venmo account and that’s how people have been donating to me. Or if they would like to donate actual items, I have posted my email and my phone number on my Facebook page.” 

Forbes hopes to collect 100 items and is accepting donations until Thursday, April 30. At that point, she will take all the money she raised and shop for nonperishable food items, gather the other donations and drop them off at Westside. 

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