Every year the Wilkes University Financial Services team works closely with students and their families to help them understand the financial aid process, and to make it more personal, manageable and affordable. But when the pandemic hit, the close-knit team experienced first-hand how hard-hit some members of the community were affected—both financially and emotionally. “We heard a lot of compelling stories from families that were struggling, and while we always help as much as we can, we wished we could do more,” said Christy Snedeker, Associate Director of Financial Aid.
When the team was planning to return to work on campus, Snedeker had an idea of how they could tangibly help local families and also get reacquainted as a team: by volunteering at the Commission of Economic Opportunity’s Weinberg Food Bank. “I was so excited that the first time we were back together as a team, we were also coming together to volunteer to help those in need.” In one day at the facility in Jenkins Township, the Wilkes team packed over 600 boxes of food that were shipped to shelters all over the region to provide meals for families impacted by COVID-19. “By donating our time at the food bank, we knew that the boxes we were packing were going to local shelters, in areas that we knew would help families in need—including Wilkes families,” said Snedeker.
The Financial Services team found the day so rewarding that they are planning another volunteer outing, and Snedeker encouraged others in the Wilkes community to do it as well. “I encourage all members of the Wilkes community to volunteer at the Food Bank or any local agency that gives back to our community. It is truly a humbling experience, and brings everyone together to do something good.”