Yesterday, Florida A&M University (FAMU) student Chardinal Bain led more than 45 Rattlers to Birmingham, Ala. to participate in the ultimate service project, the “FAMU Student National Alumni Association (SNAA) Holiday Helping Hands Service Trip.” The group of students are traveling to Birmingham for a four-day trip with an agenda that includes delivering early Christmas gifts and reading books to schoolchildren. In addition, they will spend time in the local community helping a food bank prepare boxes for the less fortunate.
“This trip will allow students to branch out and practice altruism in a new environment,” said Bain, a senior social work student from Sanford, Fla., who serves as president of the FAMU SNAA. “It will also allow students to network and build relationships with successful alumni in the Alabama area.”
The FAMU students will partner with the FAMU National Alumni Association (NAA), as well as students from Miles College, located in Fairfield, Ala. over the duration of the project.
“It is important for young people to give back because that’s what we’re about,” said LTC Gregory Clark, first vice president of the FAMU NAA. “We (FAMU) train our students to go out in the world and be the best they can possibly be through their time, talents and resources. It’s what FAMU teaches us to do. That’s why we’re the greatest university in the world.”
The winter break service trip began in 2009 as “Christmas for Katrina.” For five years, the FAMU SNAA and the FAMU Student Government Association traveled to New Orleans to provide service to communities that were affected by Hurricane Katrina. In 2012, the annual service trip took students to North Carolina.
Last week, the SNAA bused in approximately 120 children from several agencies around the community to FAMU’s campus to provide a hearty meal and early Christmas gifts to those in need.
“The feeling I get when delivering toys to the children is incomparable,” Bain said. “It is an overwhelming feeling of complete joy. It is humbling and heart-warming to know that you are able to spread Christmas cheer to children who might not have a Christmas otherwise. Something as simple as giving a toy to a child can mean more to the children and families than we will ever know.”
For more information, contact Chardinal Bain at (850) 284-5365.