Global Citizenship students Lori Foster, Angelica Gomez, Martha Mendoza and Susan Moffett had an eye opening experience with their service learning project at the CAP Agency (www.capagency.org). They were surprised at the number of social services the agency offers. Prior to completing the project they didn’t know CAP provides a thrift store, food shelf, medical assistance, housing placement, homeless prevention, child care assistance, energy related assistance, emergency services, nutrition services, Meals on Wheels, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program and Head Start,educational services for children.
Foster, Gomez, Mendoza and Moffett focused their energies on the thrift store. They organized and straightened clothing and shelves, restocked donated items and helped make the thrift store more presentable. The Thrift Shop, which is open to the public, sells gently used clothing and small household items for sale at reasonable prices. Donations of clean, gently used, seasonal clothing, shoes, books, toys, small household items and small appliances are accepted. The proceeds from the sale of the thrift shop merchandise supports The Thrift Shop Operations and directly funds other CAP Agency services.
The classmates learned that many of the underlying problems of poverty are change in family structure (such as divorce or birth), economic crises, family illness, high health care costs, rise of the cost of living and unemployment.
The group decided that the future solution to the poverty problem is that more jobs need to be created, education must be more affordable and the health care system must be made available to all people.
In the reflection piece at the end of the project, this group summed up the impact, “CAP Agency has many programs to help the needy. This project helped us become more aware of the needs and problems in our community.”