Helping Hands Encourages WCC Students to Work for Others

Helping Hands collects school supplies at the Adopt a
School Drive. (Photo: Courtesy of Monique Rutledge)

This past year, Helping Hands, a sub-committee of WCC’s Staff Council, has formed with hopes of expanding its volunteer efforts.

Ed Tatton, the President of WCC’s Staff Council, said the idea began at the annual staff holiday luncheon where everyone at the party is asked to bring canned goods to stock the food pantry.

“Access to healthy food is a basic right for all of our students,” said Tatton.

Delzora Mabra, founder of the sub-committee, wanted to get a group together to go further to help out during the winter break, according to Tatton.

The members of the sub-committee thus far are Mabra as chairperson, Monique Rutledge as secretary and liaison to the Benefits Access Center, Serena Chamblee, Faith Jackson, Genevieve Holland, Teresa Michaud, and Kat Peruyera.

Helping Hands’ goal is to evolve WCC’s volunteer efforts by having multiple drives, charity events, or fundraisers per semester.

The first volunteer effort was this past winter with Volunteers of America. Helping Hands focused their efforts in Valhalla near the correctional facility.

They put together a drive and collected 120 care packages filled with personal items for adult residents of Valhalla.

Helping Hands had so many items donated that they ended up with a surplus of items that residents were able to take as they needed.

“I’ve always wanted to help others on a consistent basis and joining Helping Hands has given me the opportunity to do so,” Rutledge said. ”There is nothing more rewarding to me than to know that I’ve made an impact on someone’s life, no matter how big or small.”

This past summer, the sub-committee did a clean up with the Boys and Girls club. Helping Hands joined the annual clean the club and helped clean a facility in Mount Vernon.

This September, Helping Hands did a back to school drive called Adopt a School, specifically focusing on collecting school supplies for kindergarten through second grade at School 16 in Yonkers. The group was able to collect 12 boxes of school supplies, including a variety of items such as backpacks, notebooks and other supplies.

“The school sent us a list of all the things that they needed, we got it all together, and we dropped it off,” Rutledge said.

The efforts made by Helping Hands are remarkable thanks to everything that is done. The care packages and drop offs are done during the member’s’ free time, lunch hour or even after work, according to Rutledge.

Helping Hands is now working with the food pantry at WCC. One of their goals is to get the word out that anyone on campus can go to any of the drop off locations to donate items in efforts to keep the pantry filled year round.

“Awareness is the goal here,” Rutledge said. “Helping and making people aware of what is going on right in their backyard, servicing people in need within our community.”

Helping Hands will be helping at WCC’S Thanksgiving Dinner Giveaway, Nov. 20th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Members will help package food and make sure that students who are in need of a Thanksgiving meal have something to bring home for their families.

For anyone who wants to get involved with volunteering, donating, or finding out when the next drive will be as well as receiving food from the pantry, they can contact the Benefits Access Center located in room 224 in the Student Center.

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