Zoe Stratos | opinions editor
Nov. 4, 2021
As Emma Patton makes her morning commute to campus from the South Side, she often sees people holding signs that read: “Homeless.”
Sifting through her wallet and compartments in her car, she feels compelled to give something, but never has cash on her. Many students experience the same every day, wanting to help, but not having the immediate means to do so.
But thanks to Patton, students now have a more attainable and practical way to act on their impulse to help.
As the community service leader of Delight Women’s Ministry on campus, Patton organized an event Monday evening to put together “blessing bags” for those struggling or experiencing homelessness in these upcoming winter months.
According to Patton, a primary mission of Delight is to garner a sense of community in college women while empowering their belief in Christ and in ministry to others. Delight often holds community and service events throughout the year — with the blessing bags being just one arm of their support system.
“The idea behind this is it’s something you can keep in your car,” Patton said. “If you see someone, grab it out quick and give it to them, since I know a lot of people don’t carry cash or anything to give.”
The bags included necessities — bottled water, socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste, bandaids, hand sanitizing wipes, a comb and a granola bar. Along with the care package, Patton printed a quote to go in each bag:
“Be strong and courageous, for you are stronger than you know.”
Despite Delight being a religious-centered organization, Patton decided to pull inspiration from a Bible verse — rather than directly quoting one — to respect the religious views of anyone who may receive a bag.
Along with participants from Delight, many students from other campus organizations joined in assembling the bags in the NiteSpot.
“I’m in a sorority, and we stress philanthropy,” said Sarah Bergfelt, a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. “I drive around a lot, and I’ve been seeing more camps popping up in the winter months, so I wanted to help out.”
Although Delight is a women-only organization, the service event was not limited. Men came to assemble bags as well, including Juan Corujo.
As a member of the Alpha Delta fraternity, Corujo wanted to be involved in the service project, along with a few of his friends.
“We have a service to mankind, an obligation. It’s really important to expand our outreach because we have a blessing here,” Corujo said.
Although not a commuter, Corujo and others at the event wanted to spread the word about the blessing bags so that others on campus could pick some up for themselves when coming to campus.
“Everyone tonight took a few and some we’ll take to give out at Delight meetings,” Patton said. “I’m hoping to donate some to the homeless shelter here in Pittsburgh, or alternatively, if they would rather have us do something else for them.”
Blessing bags will be in the Union for commuter students to take. Students can follow Delight and their future events via their Instagram: @delight_duq.