The Paw Print
The last few weeks around Adams State University have been a fairly quiet haven for the local mule deer. Slowly students, faculty, and staff have been trickling back to campus or joining the campus community for the first time.
The first few weeks of the semester are sure to be a whirlwind of activity and excitement. With all of the activity it can be easy to lose sight of anything beyond the edge of campus. One organization that is worth leaving the grounds of ASU for is La Puente.
La Puente is a non-profit organization started in 1982 by the local Catholic Church in order to address homelessness in the San Luis Valley. The San Luis Valley has the highest rate of homelessness and poverty in the Front Range with about 20.5% of the population living in poverty compared with the state average of 13.5% in 2011.
The need here is immediate and very real. La Puente started as a shelter, meeting the immediate needs of emergency shelter and food for people. Since the ‘80s the organization has expanded to include a variety of programs that work with individuals and families to provide outreach services as well as several enterprises in the community whose profits go into our direct services. Homelessness and poverty are issues that are larger than a single individual; however, a quote that seems apt as the school year begins comes from Martin Luther King Jr. He says, “everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
This quote communicates that you cannot be defeated by the magnitude of these issues. Instead, focus on the ways in which you can join in the struggle for human dignity. Everyone has the power to help regardless of their background or current situation. At La Puente you can help Alamosa community members whether it be cooking a meal at the shelter, planning an activity with the children’s program, donating food to the food bank, preparing hygiene kits, sipping coffee at Milagro’s or thrifting at Rainbow’s End and Hunt Avenue Boutique.
You can sign up to volunteer by visiting the Volunteer Coordination and Community Education office at 317 State Ave, calling us at 917-587-3499, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by stopping by the La Puente booth at the ASU Volunteer Fair on September 18th.