The holiday season can be the most lonely and stressful time of year for students who do not have a home to go back to. Students who lack resources for food, shelter, transportation, or support often suffer quietly due to social stereotypes. Just because you are in college, does not mean that you can afford to live here comfortably.
However, there is one organization on WCU’s campus that strives to support each and every student who may find themselves in need of help.
HOMEBASE, an outreach of Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, has been active on campus since 2016.
Dr. Jim Dean, director of HOMEBASE, provided some insight into the types of resources that were distributed during the winter break of 2020.
“We had about 25 students who used our resources over winter break last semester. This included five students who needed housing and we provided about 10 boxes of food per week,” said Dean.
Dean explained that students also came to Homebase to use the laundry and computer lab facilities, as well as to simply hang out in a safe space.
COVID-19 also disrupted holiday meals plans for Homebase last winter, but “we had three university trustees who provided a weekly meal for our students and it averaged about thirteen students per meal.”
This obvious need for holiday season resources on campus inspired the Society of Professional Journalists, a registered student organization, to host a fundraiser to help ease the financial burden on Homebase.
To do this, SPJ is calling on the talents of local bakers to share their favorite desserts for a holiday bake sale.
“Our goal with this fundraiser is to raise enough money to help make this holiday special for anyone who seeks out help from Homebase. We hope to find a sponsor to match our donation to make this truly worthwhile,” said Sara Stanley, President of SPJ and Editor-in-Chief of The Western Carolinian.
The bake sale will be held on Thursday, Dec. 2 from 12 – 4 p.m. on the U.C. lawn.
A variety of desserts will be sold, including gluten-free and vegan options. Prices will range from $1 for a single item to $10 for a large box. Donations will also be accepted at the table and all funds collected will be going to Homebase.
Anyone looking to contribute a dessert to the sale should fill out the form that can be accessed through the QR code included with this article.
“We want to make this holiday special for everyone, regardless of the struggles they are going through. Bake something, buy something, donate to us. We hope to see everyone at the table on Dec. 2,” Stanley said.
For more information about the holiday bake sale fundraiser, please contact Sara Stanley at firstname.lastname@example.org.