- COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
I have demonstrated community engagement in multiple ways, the first being my involvement in the Sanagitachi service club that I have been a part of since the beginning of Junior year. This club serves to help the homeless in the surrounding areas of the Yokohama Kannai and Ishikawacho area, near the school. We go out on night patrols with carts of supplies to hand out, every Thursday night during the cold winters and every other Thursday night during the summer. One of the reasons I joined this group is my urge to help the homeless when I come across them on the streets. I have always wanted to provide for them, and joining this service group has given me the opportunity to do so with the help of many other people who are on the same page as me, which is key in getting the right amount of resources.
This club does not just teach us students how to be more aware of the homeless. It is beyond that – to realize how we can contribute physically and not only mentally. I have had numerous occasions before my when I was able to physically help out the homeless by providing them, although I have always been more conservatory. We specifically target places in our city with large concentration of homelessness, and going on these patrols has given me the opportunity to not only help by give out the materials, but to talk to them in person, asking them what they specifically need.
We also collect data on what has run out and how much of those materials need to be supplied. During winter season when the temperature drops below zero celsius during nighttime, we begin the annual “Giving Tree Project.” We setup small Christmas trees around the school with many tags hanging off the branches; each tag indicates an item needed by the homeless to stay hygienic, fed, and survive the extreme temperatures. Scarce supplies recorded during each patrol is prioritized. Below the Christmas tree is a large cardboard box for people to drop off the items. It gives us all an opportunity become Santa Claus, giving and helping those in need. By engaging with the entire community of our school and not only within our service group, I have been able to broaden my level of contribution in raising the needed level awareness, to ultimately be able to help the homeless.