As part of a group project, senior social work majors Ally Murr, Jessica Jones, Imani Bethea and Frances Rimby were inspired to use their social work skills to make a difference in the Harrisburg community.

“With conducting research regarding poverty in the Harrisburg area, we found that a total of 26.2 percent of individuals are stricken by poverty out of the total population being 50,099 people,” said Murr.

Together, the group worked to bring awareness to the issue and began a collection to support the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Soup Kitchen. They far exceeded their initial goal of collecting 150 items to donate, instead collecting 2,543 items with 338 items of those items supporting cleaning and food preparation supplies for the kitchen.

As they worked to make a difference, they were also fine tuning the skills they are about to use as they graduate and begin their careers in the field. According to Murr, the project provided experience in two of the nine social work competencies defined by the Council of Social Work Education.

“This group project gave us great experience in learning the social work competency 6, engaging with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities and competency 4, engaging in practice-informed research and research-informed practice, along with obtaining more healthy, written, and verbal communication skills with individuals, organizations, and communities,” she explained.

Murr said the group is also hopeful they’ve raised awareness and inspired also others to donate. The soup kitchen takes donations year-round and is always seeking volunteers to help prepare meals, clean and hand out meals.

“We are truly grateful to have had the opportunity to do this group project, with having the chance to help the less fortunate individuals within the Harrisburg area,” Murr added.

Learn more about Ship’s Social Work program.

Did you know Ship’s Master of Social Work program is now available online or in-person? Learn more here.