By Kaitlyn Czajkowski
Patrick Henry College
Natasha Malik and Becca Chin-Yee, along with the donations they gathered by "stepping outside"
Over the month of March, Chin-Yee and Malik, along with Dean of Student Affairs, Sandra Corbitt, decided to host Patrick Henry’s “First Annual Stepping Outside Month,” a month devoted to reaching out to The Good Shepherd Alliance, an organization that works to serve Loudon County’s homeless by providing emergency housing and support.
Chin-Yee and Malik organized fundraising events and opportunities--hosting a bake sale for the charity, and organizing a “Blue Jeans for Bucks” event, where PHC students could pay $2 to wear jeans to classes. After a month of hard work, Chin-Yee and Malik had raised over $700 to support the Good Shepherd Alliance.
Months before, Chin-Yee and Malik had started volunteering their own time at The Good Shepherd Alliance. Chin-Yee recounts that over the summer before her junior year, God had placed a burden for the homeless on her heart. “I prayed that… [God] would show me the opportunity” to be involved, she said, and shortly after, her church announced a need for volunteers in women’s ministry at a local homeless shelter.
“After I started working with the Good Shepherd Alliance and seeing the need, I wanted to do something to raise awareness and funds for the organization,” Chin-Yee said.
“I also felt that there was a need on campus for students to step outside their PHC microcosm and reach out to the community that surrounded them,” Malik said.
According to Malik, in 2008, over 900 people applied to the Good Shepherd Alliance for assistance, yet were denied due to lack of room and funding. This realization is what caused her to become involved. “I knew that PHC needed to be a part of helping the Good Shepherd Alliance,” she said.
With the First Annual Stepping Outside Month behind them, Chin-Yee and Malik have found it an enormous blessing to be involved in impacting the local community and the people around them.
“At PHC we're called to change the nation and shape the culture, but it's easy to think we can only accomplish that after graduation,” Malik said. That is a mindset she’d like to change. Changing the nation and shaping the culture starts now, she said, and “we have the amazing opportunity to… take on a servant heart and lead by example while we are in this season in our life.”