Freshman class provide care packages for local elderly


The students from ULM’s freshman class of 2021 are already making a name for themselves, not only on campus, but in the Monroe community, as well.

As part of a community service project through the University 1001 class, the freshmen donated 76 care packages, over 1,300 canned food items and also helped raise $612 in donations through the quilt raffle for the Ouachita Council on Aging (OCA), a local non-profit organization serving seniors 60 years and older since 1967.

OCA has been acting on behalf of senior citizens by providing meals, transportation, healthcare, recreation and an emergency response system among other services.

Since 2008, every incoming freshman class hasworked with OCA to continue the outreach by providing care packages for the seniors and helping raise money by supporting the annual quilt fundraiser.

Will Copeland, who is an instructor for the class and helped develop the curriculum, shared that the participation from this year’s freshman class was noteworthy.

“The student participation actually has been overwhelming… we have received excess donations, there are lots of extra goods to donate this year, the baskets are over-flowing,” Copeland said.

Along with the donated items, every care package contained personal letters written by the students to wish the elderly a happy holiday season.

Sara Webb, from the Student Success Center, said she was thrilled to see how her students really felt passionate about the project because, they seemed to think about their own grandparents and people in their lives.

Webb believes that is one of the objectives of the project.

“Part of the college experience is learning to be a member of your community and being socially responsible citizens, so I think it’s a great way to open up the college experience for the students,”Webb said.

Copeland thinks having the community service project as a part of the class is very beneficiary to the beginning freshman because not everyone comes backgrounds and a lot of people just don’t know how they can help the community.

“This helps them reach out to others in an easier way because everything is laid out for them, so they do get to experience community service, and become social-minded, while earning points in class, which is very fun,” Copeland said.

Peer leader Joey Walker believes it’s very important to understand the power of community and realize the impact these students can make through service.

“To me, a community consists of different people that come together to live and grow.

They come together in times of need to support one another and make an impact… this project is a perfect example.” Walker said.

The peer leaders, Students Success Center staff members and ULM students delivered the items to OCA on Friday.