By D.J. Jimenez
Children get a helping hand thanks to the efforts of the Public Administration Club.
The hour hand lands on 3 p.m., and approaching from the distant horizon, faint voices of laughter steadily grow in strength as a lonely structure that once was bland and inanimate begins to breathe with youthful life.
Anxious children pour into the building eagerly awaiting not only the hot meal that fills their belly but also the valuable lessons that fill their minds.
Transforming a conventional office building into a playground of creativity, enthusiasm and imagination, the Presa Community Center’s Kid’s Cafe is among the programs that have inspired the Public Administration Club to assist nonprofit organizations in writing grant proposals.
Franki Martin, vice president of the Presa Community Center, said, “So many nonprofits are competing over funding. Additional grant money means we can reach out and help more people and really contribute to the community.”
Led by a determined Sylvia De Leon, Public Administration coordinator, the Public Administration Club has begun to collaborate with various nonprofit organizations such as the Presa Community Center.
De Leon said, “Our students in the program are taught to give back to the community, and one way is to help nonprofit organizations by writing a grant for their agencies at no cost to the agencies.”
Some of these nonprofits happen to be animal shelters.
Animal shelters usually have problems in acquiring supplies needed for spaying, neutering, vaccinations and disease testing, providing only a handful of assistance to the many animals that need medical treatment.
Melissa A. Diaz de Leon, a St. Mary’s University graduate currently enrolled in public administration classes, said, “Helping these nonprofit organizations is important because I believe we have a moral obligation to help others, and usually non-profits focus on charitable and educational purposes.”
The Public Administration Club has also shifted its focus to write grants for soldiers coming back from Iraq who need funding to further their college education.
De Leon commented, “Helping the troops returning from the war is a goal the Public Administration Club has had for a long time because many of our students’ family members are fighting in Iraq or current students who have fought in the war.”
The Public Administration Club is seeking student members to help the local community prosper.
For more information on how to become a volunteer, call De Leon at 733-2888.