By: Kara Citarella
Law school teaches us a lot about leadership: taking initiative, helping out in our communities,and showing concern for the well-being of others. A big part of that cannot be learned in the classroom, as I'm sure we all know. We learn most of it through working in the trenches, getting our hands dirty, rolling up our sleeves and meeting people on every level. It takes commitment, perseverance, and a big heart.
The University of Maryland USGA is showing those precise attributes through Project Jumpstart, a project that now works every Tuesday and Friday night at 5:30 to gather donations such as food, toiletries and clothing, to take out and distribute to needy members of the Baltimore community. I participated in this event last week and had quite the eye-opening experience.
There are several stops we go on to distribute the food and items, and some of the community members have even come to expect to see us every week at the same time. Most of them just want to be acknowledged... a kind word and a cup of cocoa can go a long way. The elderly folks just want to chat, and the younger folks just want some encouragement, some positive feedback that they're not totally lost or forgotten.
Now that the cold is coming, Project Jumpstart will be collecting donations, mostly for warm clothing such as coats, hats, gloves, scarves and sweaters, for the less fortunate to weather out the storm of winter. They will also be participating in National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in November. Keep an eye out for emails and details. Standing outside handing out food on a chilly night may not be the way you originally envisioned spending a Friday night, but how fulfilling could it be? Meeting others and giving... I don't know of anything that makes people happier, or that makes you a better leader.