Westmont Magazine Making a Difference Everyday at Westmont
The Westmont community responded to Hurricane Katrina in a variety of ways. First, faculty, staff and students prayed for survivors in chapel and in numerous small groups. Students set up a table in the dining commons to collect money for the American Red Cross. Faculty discussed elements of the tragedy in their classes. The weekly discussion group, “Tuesdays with Morals,” focused on the human dimension of the natural disaster. At a ceremony on campus titled “Never Forget” the Westmont community honored the victims of 9-11, prayed for hurricane survivors and raised funds for relief efforts on the Gulf Coast.
Westmont had the largest team of volunteers at United Way’s 14th annual Day of Caring in September. More than 90 students, faculty and staff spent a Saturday morning volunteering at a variety of organizations. A Santa Barbara News-Press photo depicted six students landscaping a neighborhood for Goleta Valley Beautiful. Other Westmont volunteers helped paint an emergency shelter for Domestic Violence Solutions, sorted goods for Hurricane Katrina victims at Operation Pack-a-Suitcase, read for Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, and cleaned up at Alpha Resource Center.
When Deborah Dunn, associate professor of communication studies, visited the poverty-stricken township of Guguletu in South Africa, she wanted to support the school and health clinic there. She has raised more than $2,000 from Westmont faculty and staff to purchase windows, toilets, texts, basic school supplies and medical supplies and equipment.
About 50 students traveled to Ensenada, Mexico, as part of Potter’s Clay to assist the Special Olympics. Students helped athletes, timed events, distributed lunches and handed out trophies.