Women’s Awareness kicked off with service

The month of March is coming to a close, but featured numerous activities hosted by the Women’s Resource Center in celebration of Women’s Awareness Month (WAM). Events were kicked off with Women’s Day of Service (WDS), when roughly 80 of Tech students went throughout metro Atlanta and volunteered with charities that focus on helping women and children.

This year’s event featured keynote speaker Amy Phuong, Chief Service Officer for Atlanta, Tech alumna and former SGA vice president, and a catered breakfast by the Flying Biscuit for participants.

The event went smoothly, but a lot happens in preparation for the day of service.

“We start in the fall, working with the general WAM committee to come up with a theme and goals for WAM in general and getting a speaker for WDS,” said Gwen Hughes, chair of WDS. “Spring is our crunch time—we start pulling the projects together, setting up registration, getting all of the logistics like catering and location confirmed.”

For Hughes, her Co-Chair Katie McCoy and many others, the week before the day of service is when the workload really increases.

“That’s when 90 percent of our volunteers sign up, so we’re busy trying to make sure all of the projects are evenly full and we have enough drivers,” Hughes said. “That’s also when we start getting a decent idea of what the weather is going to be like and if we need rain contingency plans. There’s a lot of caffeine that week.”

Women’s Day of Service was the kickoff to the month, sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center.

Other events included the Vagina Monologues, a production designed to celebrate both women’s strength and sexuality and to educate people on different attitudes towards violence against women, as well as Take Back the Night, a candle light vigil in honor of sexual assault survivors.

Finally, there was the Clothesline Project, which gave those with stories the opportunity to share them confidentially.

When the Women’s Day of Service finally came, volunteers set out to places which included the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the Luke Project, the Hope Store, Hosea Feed the Hungry, the Atlanta Community ToolBank and MedShare.

It seemed like once everything started moving, the effort that went into making such an event happen ended up paying off.

“Being involved with WDS and WAM have been some of my favorite moments at Tech. For WDS, it’s amazing to see male and female students come out to support Atlanta charities that help women and children, and just to see how awesome and passionate Tech students are about giving back,” Hughes said.

Volunteers for this year’s day of service were also given complimentary t-shirts, which featured this year’s WDS logo. The logo for the event was the diversity tree, which seemed to work perfectly with the message of the club.

“It’s kind of this idea that one person doing one small act can contribute to a larger picture and make a significant change,” Hughes said.

“That’s kind of the theme of WDS in a nutshell- that together, all of us can make a huge contribution in the local community by working together.”