The event was sponsored by Whispers of Love, Inc. of Petersburg, a non-profit organization that aids the homeless, disabled veterans, resident re-entrants, the working poor, and the distressed to recovery by becoming self sustained through support and empowerment. The Stand Down offered free medical and dental care, mental health, substance abuse and employment counseling, free clothing, meals, and haircuts to homeless veterans and civilians and the severely disadvantaged.
“It was fun to interact and help the homeless, said Saint Paul’s College Junior, Reggie Jenkins of Washington D.C., “I had never worked with the homeless before so this was a rewarding experience.”
The Saint Paul’s College Students were assigned to an individual and were responsible for escorting them to each station. Some of the students were involved with the food service vendors while others helped at the information booths.
Saint Paul’s volunteer support project was made possible by a grant from the Cameron Foundation, to expand the scope and service area of the Saint Paul’s College Service Learning program to include the Petersburg and Tri-City area with an additional 40 hours of volunteer service by 15-20 students assisting those in need in the Tri-City area.
“The support for this event has been awesome, it has been years since something like this has been done in the Petersburg area and I look forward to being involved with this sort of project in years to come,” said American Legion Service Officer for the 4th District, Norma Jean Newman.
“Everyone who came in contact with the students from Saint Paul’s College was amazed at how respectful they were. It has been a long time since I have met a group of college students that had discipline like them,” said Whispers of Love CEO/Founder, Virginia Byerson. “I would love to work with this group of students again, they far exceeded my expectations,” Byerson said.