Fill the Dome stimulates youth to be involved for the long term
In response to Duke Schempp's article, "Attention given to Fill the Dome misguides community priorities": I need to clarify the extent of our efforts during Homeless and Hungry as well as throughout the year. I can understand how someone who was ...
In response to Duke Schempp's article, "Attention given to Fill the Dome misguides community priorities":
I need to clarify the extent of our efforts during Homeless and Hungry as well as throughout the year.
I can understand how someone who was not involved in the event could perceive Homeless and Hungry as a "short-term charitable activity," but after participating for three years in a row and serving as a director this past year, I have to argue that it is not.
Prior to becoming involved with Homeless and Hungry, my perception of homelessness was that it was such a large and complex issue that there was nothing I could do about it. My experiences with homeless and hungry people have taught me that, although I was young, I was more than able to serve as Christ's hands and feet in order to help those less fortunate than myself.
Homeless and Hungry is planned and carried out by youths and adults working side by side and learning from each other. I have been a participant, a committee member and a director, and I can assure you that the lessons I have learned
while planning Homeless and Hungry are priceless.
The youth who serve as committee members are given responsibilities that empower them, teach them leadership, make them think critically and instill in them a sense of service that will stay with them throughout their lives.
Do not misunderstand me; I completely support the education of other social and political issues. As a future social studies teacher, I plan on devoting my career to it.
However, the youths in our community identified homelessness as an issue that they could raise awareness for and work toward solving. It is our dream that some day we will no longer have the need to hold Homeless and Hungry or Fill the Dome events, and I promise
that we will continue to work hard until that happens.
Yes, the actual Homeless and Hungry event only lasts two days, but the change that occurs within people is anything but "short term." Change in any person, youth or adult, does not happen overnight. We must focus on planting seeds in as many hearts as we can and constantly advocate for people to become involved in service.
It is impossible to predict how the youths in our community will grow and use the lessons they have learned to change our society, but I guarantee you that the youth involved with Homeless and Hungry and Fill the Dome have hearts that are continuously dedicated to fixing injustice in our world.
Swenson lives in Fargo.