The Alliance of International Ambassadors on campus sponsors several charity drives throughout the year to benefit the homeless community in Charlotte. Currently, they are collecting donations for their “Bananas (and clothing) for the homeless” charity drive. The organization welcomes students to join them as they hand out donations to the homeless community in uptown Charlotte on Friday, Sept. 26, and also on Thursday, Oct. 2.
Jasmine Sinkhada, president of the Alliance of International Ambassadors, encourages students to join her organization in distributing the collected goods to the homeless community as it is an excellent way to learn about the struggles of homeless people and to better understand them. “I encourage people to come to distribution, it changed my entire outlook on [homeless people],” she said.
Through their involvement with the homeless community in this project, the Alliance of International Ambassadors hopes to remove stereotypes and judgment that is often felt towards homeless people – for students to see the people they really are. Sinkhada encourages students to, “remove the lens they have right now, and to look at [the homeless] with a pure heart.” She stressed how homeless individuals are people who are going through pains, and that they deserve to be treated as the human beings that they are.
Joining the Alliance of International Ambassadors to do distribution, are two community members. One is a former member of the homeless community in Charlotte who leads students around and knows most of the people that students distribute the donations to. The other is a UNC Charlotte graduate who started the organization “Project Change the World.”
As for the title, “Bananas (and clothing) for the homeless,” Sinkhada simply said she chose that particular fruit for the name because “It represents happiness in a way…[this project] is just a way of making them smile.”
The Alliance of International Ambassadors also sponsors a coat drive for the homeless in the winter months. To learn more about the organization, the event or how to get involved, contact Sinkhada at firstname.lastname@example.org.