BY CAMERON MERTINS | STAFF WRITER
“The first annual Homeless Ministries Pie Smash consisted of seven volunteers who put their faces on the line in the name of warm feet,” said Cam Wilkins, a junior student leader for Homeless Ministry at PLNU. The goal of the event was to raise money by selling $2 pies, to buy socks for the homeless community in downtown San Diego. Along with the Pie Smash, the ministry held a sock drive for the last two weeks where students could donate money, socks, or other clothes for the homeless community that they visit every week.
“We have spent two full weeks on the sock drive and have made over $200 by setting up a booth in front of the Caf, as well as putting on a pie smashing event,” said Gabe Richardson, sophomore student leader of Homeless Ministries.
Homeless Ministries is a campus ministry that occurs every week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night. Each night two different Student Leaders take a group of PLNU students to downtown San Diego to hand out food and water, and to build relationships with the homeless.
Each night that the ministry goes out, the leaders and volunteers meet before they go downtown to make sandwiches, coffee, and collect what they can to take down for that night. The food comes from donations from students at the beginning of the year. Students are given the opportunity to donate their own meal swipes to be used to provide food for those in need downtown.
“As a leader of Homeless Ministries I have many goals, but perhaps the most important goal of mine is that conversations happen,” Richard- son said. “Because in these conversations, relationships form and in relationships, God shows up big time.” The groups that go downtown on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday all go to God’s Extended Hand, a small church and homeless shelter, while the group on Thursday goes to a commercial street downtown. These groups return to the same place each week in order to continue to build relationships and impact the same people.
“When I go to Homeless Minis- tries I pray for those that are in need, I spread the word of God and let them know that he is always there,” said Maecie Ireland, a junior student volunteer at Homeless Ministries. “I go to make a difference, even just to put a smile on someone’s face.”
Those who participate in Home- less Ministries give physical help to those in downtown, food and water, and now socks thanks to the drive and pie smash, but they also give something else, love.
“We give out food, drinks and most importantly we love on people,” said Gabe Richardson.
“Love looks like something, meaning that the way we love is not limited to just one way but in many, and by us going out and sharing our time and some food with these people I believe that we will make a difference, that we are making a difference. Even if we just impact one person, that makes the whole thing worth it.”
Maecie spoke about how it is not just the people living in downtown San Diego that are being impacted, so are those who go down to give help.
“I will never forget the people I have met and the relationships that have developed,” Ireland said. “People of all ages have touched me with their amazing stories.”