Wheaton College President Dennis M. Hanno and a team of students and graduates from the Massachusetts liberal arts college will be pitching in this weekend to support community service projects.
On Saturday, the president will join with students and graduates to volunteer at the San Francisco Food Bank for a morning of work.
The following day he will team up with Wheaton students, including incoming first-year students who live in LA, to participate in the one-day “Back 2 School” initiative. Sponsored by National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles and the Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, the event is scheduled to will Los Angeles children in need with new clothing, shoes and school supplies so that they will be prepared and excited for the first day of school.
The Wheaton College teams’ participation in the California service projects is part bonding experience for its San Francisco and LA students as well as a continuation of its #WheatonCares campaign, which President Hanno launched to expand and highlight the many ways in which the liberal arts college makes a difference in the world.
“Throughout my first year here at Wheaton, I have consistently focused on the importance of giving back to our communities and to the world as a whole,” President Hanno said. “I strongly believe that by working together to give back we strengthen not only the communities where we do that work, but our community itself. Plus, working together gives us a shared purpose and can be a lot of fun.”
For more than 15 years, Hanno has led leadership and innovation workshops for high school students in Africa, as a means to building the capacity for social entrepreneurship in Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya.
“As I have journeyed through life, I have figured out that we all have a lot of gifts,” Hanno has said. “But those gifts only have value if we share them with others. What I have found is that the more you share, the more you grow, and that’s both as an individual and as a community.”
The Back 2 School Store is a one-day event set up like a department store. Children are assigned an adult volunteer to help them shop for clothing, school supplies, and personal items in their favorite colors and styles. Programming in collaboration with other community organizations in the areas of child safety, nutrition, dental and vision health is provided for children and their families.
Children who participate in the Back 2 School Store are clients of and/or receive services from NCJW/LA, JFSLA and their community partners.