The Office of the Dean of the Chapel hosted the annual Homecoming Day of Service a week later than anticipated due to the ongoing #BlackburnTakeover protest. Despite the chill and mist awaiting the Homecoming crowd, Howard students were packed together under the white tent next to Carnegie Hall in preparation for the Homecoming Day of Service.
On Oct. 23, volunteers began their first duty of service by carrying donated clothes, gloves and other essentials to students protesting in the Armour J. Blackburn Center. From there, they branched out to travel to their respective community service sites. This year’s Homecoming Day of Service sites were Hustlaz to Harvesters, Howard Hospital, East Capitol Urban Farm, National Park Service, DC for Reasonable Development, Healthy Babies and Cultivate the Green.
Hustlaz to Harvesters was founded by Muhsin “Bo Luther” Umar and Caleb Ross in order to rehabilitate the Clay Terrace neighborhood and uplift those within the town through education on agriculture. They have a community garden in Clay Terrace and on the rooftop of Garfield Terrace apartments, located directly behind Howard University’s East and West Towers.
“Through this garden right here, we can take and change the nature of how people eat,” Umar said.
In choosing to work with Hustlaz to Harvesters, people are informed about nutrition and ways to adequately take care of their bodies. The program also creates a safe environment where those in the community can seek knowledge or food when in need, something that Gjianna White, a sophomore nutritional science major and volunteer, found inspiring.
“If I were in that position, I would want someone like me to come be willing to come help me,” White said.
All 2021 Homecoming Day of Service sites fulfilled their goals, and students were able to give back by volunteering in the community for the day. Many students’ appreciation for what they have was apparent in not only their attendance on Homecoming Day of Service, but also the smiles on their faces as they helped those in need.
For D’nai Thomas, a senior clinical laboratory science major, participating in Homecoming Day of Service helped her, “gain new perspective, gain new appreciation for the things I do and don’t have.”
Copy edited by: N’dia Webb