Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches make Lisamarie Tomassetti think of the frequently forgotten Las Vegans who don’t have someplace to sleep tonight.
The essential sandwich is a pointer of individuals in our community who do not know where their next meal is originating from.
It’s also a reminder of her childhood when she was homeless.
On late Friday afternoons over the previous 4 years Lisamarie and UNLV trainees have been delivering want to Las Vegas homeless by spreading some peanut butter and jelly.
Possibly you’ve seen her and lots of other UNLV students making PB&J sandwiches at the eating bar in the Trainee Union, prior to packing the sandwiches and other food in sacks to be delivered to the customers of the Las Vegas Rescue Objective downtown.
DASH– or Delivering And Serving Hope– is among the longest running volunteer programs at UNLV. It was originally called Meals on Wheels, but the name was changed so not to puzzle it with the federal government program of the exact same name.
On the last two Fridays of every month throughout the term UNLV trainees collect on the first flooring of the Trainee Union to make the sandwiches and pack lunch sacks that then are delivered by the students who give them to the homeless.
Stine Odegard, the program planner for Service Programs and Option Break Trips with the workplace of Student Engagement and Variety, said DASH deals trainees volunteers an oppurtunity to learn more about a lot of the barriers experienced by those experienceing homelessness, cravings, and hardship in the community.
“We hope the volunteers take this opportunity to learn about a frequently forgotten section of our community and check out brand-new ways to either assistance or supporter for these disenfranchised populations,” Stine stated.
For Lisamarie, it’s a story she’s familiar with. As a teen and Green Valley High School trainee she experienced homelessness twice.
“My mother and sis and I had been evicted. We remained in the automobile or with friends. Ultimately we moved into a budget suites,” Lisamarie said. “It was extremely hard. I really used Nevada Collaboration for Homeless Youth, who assisted get on us on food stamps.”
Through it all she remained in school. She discovered motivation in something her grandfather utilized to inform her. “My grandpa would say, ‘You’re going to college,'” Lisamarie said.
Stine explained, food stamps and other such programs as Lisamarie experienced are the primary reason that DASH fulfills on the last 2 Fridays of the month. The population experiencing homelessness who have access to it, receive federal government help at the beginning of the month and are more likely to be in greater requirement at the end of months, she stated.
That’s when some members of our community have no idea where their next meal is coming from, Lisamarie said.
After graduating from Green Valley High School, Lisamarie had actually gone to Kent State University before moving to UNLV, where she simply felt more at home.
She chose that she would attempt and get involved in different companies on campus. “I discovered DASH and I fell for it,” she stated.
It can be frustrating for Lisamarie often. The weekend before Thanksgiving, for instance, struck her tough. “I see individuals. I saw a mom with two children … a kid and a girl. I needed to go out.”
While some trainees signup just attempting to rack up service hours, maybe for an organization they’re a part of, Lisamarie said, they wind up getting a lot more out if. “When you’re actually handing the sacks of food out, it ties whatever together. It makes it a truth,” she said.
During a reflection time at the end of a DASH run to the Rescue Objective, Lisamarie says the words she hears the most are “grateful and hope.”
“DASH is bringing awareness to a delicate subject,” she said.
Lisamarie states there’s a delight and gratitude too when she and other Rebels engage the community experiencing homelessness. “It’s my favorite part. We’re all worn our UNLV equipment and they let us know they are so pleased we are here. We aim to be really friendly and engage individuals in conversations. Some individuals are simply trying to find somebody to talk to.”
She added, “It makes me feel truly excellent. They have a place. There are individuals assisting them. It’s an actually surreal sensation.”