Busy class schedules and being involved in extracurricular activities keeps many students on campus from reaching out into the community and giving back. Becca McDonell is an exception. For the last three years, McDonell has worked at the local severe weather shelter giving the homeless people of Forest Grove a warm place to sleep.
Located at the United Church of Christ, the program opens its door to any homeless people in the area and gives them a warm meal and place to stay when the weather drops below freezing. The shelter houses anywhere from 1 to 13 people.
McDonell first started volunteering at the shelter her freshman year. The job has become a work study position currently run entirely by Pacific students.
McDonell is the team leader at the weather shelter and is in charge of hiring staff, watching the budget, processing time cards, creating schedules, training staff, deciding when the shelter should be open, going in and setting up the shelter when it is open, preparing meals, making sure they have food available and making sure there are enough blankets, sock and jackets.
“It’s a great experience to break free from Pacific’s little bubble,” said McDonell.
The weather shelter has been in alliance with Pacific University for five and a half years. Students who do not receive work study for the position do volunteer their time at the shelter.
“The severe weather shelter would greatly accept volunteers, especially over Christmas break. If someone also wanted to make a soup or spaghetti to be served at the shelter we would be very grateful,” said McDonell.
For more information contact Becca McDonell or the United Church of Christ.

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