Since I moved to D.C. 6 years ago, I have been on SMU’s DC Chapter Leadership Team, where my specialty area/focus is community service. As one might guess, I seek ways the D.C. alumni can do community outreach in Washington.
One of the ways we do this is through SMU’s Stampede of Service Day. For the past 2 years, SMU has encouraged its alumni near and far to connect through community service.
Each year, the university chooses one day that will be designated “SMU’s Stampede of Service Day”. On this day all of the alumni chapters worldwide are supposed to organize a community service project in their respective cities for their alumni.
This year, SMU extended the “day” of service to this past weekend, to allow for more flexibility. As long as a city had a project over the weekend it counted. A smattering of the different chapters that also participated this year were from New York City, Houston, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco, Bangkok, Thailand, and London, England.
This year (and last year), the SMU D.C. alums volunteered at So Others Might Eat or S.O.M.E., an interfaith, community-based organization that exists to help the poor and homeless of our nation’s capital. S.O.M.E. meets the daily needs of people they serve with food, clothing, and healthcare. S.O.M.E. also provides a variety of services including affordable housing, addiction treatment, and counseling.
I had been introduced to S.O.M.E. one year when Tommy, my brother Marshall, and I were asked if we wanted to serve Thanksgiving dinner at one of S.O.M.E’s locations. We readily agreed and had a wonderful and moving experience. Since then, I had always been impressed with this organization and when Stampede of Service Day began 2 years ago, I suggested S.O.M.E. as our community service project.
On Sunday we worked and served the lunchtime shift (10:30am – 1:30pm) and were all kept extremely busy. We all had tasks – washing dishes, setting the tables, serving coffee & juice, greeting guests, and serving lunch itself to the several hundred individuals that walked through the door.
At the end of our shift we were tired and hungry, but also satisfied and content that we were able to do something within our community for others. It was also great seeing so many alums I hadn’t seen before!
Here’s to next year!
For more information regarding S.O.M.E. please go here.