African/African American Studies

Grand Valley Students Honor Black History Month by Volunteering

Date: February 11, 2012

In 1955 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune wrote the following words in “Last Will and Testament:”  “Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service.  Without faith nothing is possible.  With it, nothing is impossible.”  While the staff at Guiding Light Mission in Grand Rapids, Michigan may or may not know who Mary McLeod Bethune was, and while they may or may not know her quotations, they certainly are living her words.  On Saturday, February 11th students, staff and faculty traveled to the Guiding Light Mission as a part of GVSU’s Black History Month Day of Service.   And there, all had a chance to see the principle of Bethune’s words in action.    

The Guiding Light Mission is founded on the principle that every man, no matter how far down he may stumble, must have within himself the audacity and pride to get up and start all over again.  Here, he can find a safe haven where he can gain his bearings.  The Mission provides food for those in the community (e.g. meals, food baskets); and, housing for the homeless, low-income clients and/or those who are in unsafe environments.  Students had an opportunity to talk with men in the Residential Recovery program.  Over the course of six to ten months, those clients who find the courage to acknowledge they need assistance to re-learn how to live successfully take part in work therapy, and life skills classes. 

AAAS is thrilled to co-sponsor this event to show students one avenue by which they can continue to practice a life of service. 

Watch the video and read the story featured on Fox 17 News here!

See all news