Author: Alfonzo D. Alexander, NASBA Chief Relationship Officer
While attending the 2011 Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) leadership convention in Denver, Colorado last week, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to participate in the BAP’s Community Service Day. This year’s outreach was a partnership with “Project Homeless Connect,” an annual service event conducted by the City of Denver and the Mile High United Way that provides easily accessible services for people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless in Denver.
The philosophy of “Project Homeless Connect” is that by pairing a volunteer with a “client” that shepherds them through the event throughout the day, they are connecting the client with someone who can provide one-to-one, personal guidance. This model proves richly rewarding for both the volunteer and the client. As a volunteer, you gain a deeper appreciation of your own life and feel a great sense of satisfaction and pride at being able to help someone receive help in the basic needs that many people commonly take for granted. Many of the other volunteers I spoke with during the day expressed similar feelings.
The clients respond well to the “Project Homeless Connect” model too. A survey of the clients at the conclusion of the event revealed the impression the experience had on them, saying “Someone actually talked to me today,” “Someone cared about me” and “I made a friend today.”
In addition to the positive emotional impact the event had on participants, the physical impact was just as rewarding. During this amazing event, approximately 2,000 BAP volunteers and service providers helped more than 1,000 clients get medical attention, housing assistance, new IDs, haircuts, HIV tests, bus tokens, medical exams and books. Following are just a few statistics that show some of the project’s impact.
As a member of the Beta Alpha Psi International Advisory Forum, I am fortunate to be involved with this organization. As a representative of NASBA, I can say with confidence that we are proud to be affiliated with BAP. Continue to make a positive impact Beta Alpha Psi.
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