The study and practice of writing with attention to audience, purpose, and conventions appropriate to a specific writing situation. This includes the reading, writing, and analyzing of a variety of texts (which may be written, digital, or visual).
- Professor Jonathan S. Cullick
Our class was part of a nation-wide movement of student philanthropists! The Learning by Giving Foundation generously funded our class with a grant of $5,000 to contribute to 1-2 northern Kentucky non-profit organizations of the students’ choice. The Learning by Giving network consists of 35 colleges and universities across the country educating more than 700 students each year.
Nearly every student at NKU completes a first-year writing course. After many years of teaching this course, I have experienced first-hand a basic truth: Helping students write effectively requires engaging them to care about what they are trying to communicate in writing. In my ENG 101 Mayerson/Learning-by-Giving class, I teach the same skills as other writing courses but in the context of community needs. For example, in all sections of ENG 101, students complete a persuasive research project. They do the same in my class, but the topics and research are focused on the needs in the northern Kentucky region, and the persuasion they do is to advocate on behalf of the nonprofit of their choice.
Ultimately, I want my students to discover that the ability to communicate effectively with writing is not only a personal good, leading to one’s own individual success, but also a public good, leading to the betterment of society.
I thank the Learning by Giving Foundation for supporting our mission to teach in the context of community engagement.
Helping the ones who need it has always been important to me. I have volunteered bimonthly at The Henry Hosea House with my youth group since 2017, and let me just say, every moment I have spent in their little location in Newport has been eye opening. A man in his 50s sat down with me after I served him his meal and I think about this all the time. This man told me about his passion for playing guitar as a kid and how it makes him happy. He went through a bad time where his family lost everything. They lost their house, their jobs, their food, and since then he has been homeless in Newport with nothing but his guitar and the clothes on his back. He told me he has been going to the Hosea House ever since he heard about it from another person without a home and explained to me how much they help. Hosea House has a goal to nourish the body of people in need and currently, they are struggling to do so.
The Henry Hosea House is a great “soup kitchen” on a corner in Newport Kentucky. They serve anyone who walks through their doors without question. Not only do they provide a full meal, but they provide basic necessities such as soap, clothing donations, and to-go snacks. Volunteering there opened my eyes to the people in need and how important it is to help them become better. People who come into Hosea House know the employees who work there and feel comfortable getting help. Some people may even come in just because they need help getting back on their feet. Hosea House helps so many people in their community. - CASSI DIVITA, NKU STUDENT, ENG 101
The Hosea House is a non-profit organization that helps give meals to the homeless and people in need located on 901 York Street in Newport, KY. These deeds are very kind and courteous gestures, as not a lot of people seem to want to help others nowadays. The people who run this organization are extremely selfless and give their own time and money into this project to help feed people who need the assistance. A few of the people of high importance involved in this non-profit include the Executive Director (Bruce Stelzer), the President (Steve Ader), and the Secretary (Patty Steinman). These people (and many, many more) help keep this organization running and providing for families and make sure the money they have is put to good use.
The Hosea House was founded in 1991 and was built on bringing the Northern Kentucky/ Cincinnati communities together to serve the needy, elderly, and homeless. They serve nutritious meals once a day, 7 times a week (about 175 meals per day). In 2018, The Hosea House served nearly 60,000 meals, which is incredible to say the least. The Hosea House recognizes that hunger is a very big problem in our society today, but not only do they like to combat hunger, they enjoy helping people with loneliness, helplessness, and boredom. Therefore, they treat every single person that enters like they were entering a nice restaurant, meeting with friends and building community. - DUSTIN HUNLEY, NKU STUDENT, ENG 101
Many people are not aware of how serious the problem of hunger is in our local communities and how many people are actually affected by this problem. Just in Kentucky alone, 662,660 people struggle from hunger resulting in one out of seven people not having the proper food they need to stay healthy and fed. (feedingamerica.org) Food pantries are meant to provide meals to those in need at no cost at all to help give as many people as possible with the food they need. With the food pantries located all over Kentucky, their goal is to lower the number of people that are going without food and not sure of where their next meal is going to come from. Not only do they provide food but they also provide a community like atmosphere for those who are struggling in life and allow them to have a place to feel wanted and welcomed. To some it may not seem like a lot but to those in need it is powerful beyond words what a warm meal and a person to talk to can do for someone that is having difficulties in their life.
Hosea House is a small soup kitchen located in Newport Kentucky that was founded in 1991 by Sister Mary Dorgan. Their mission is to provide food, nourishment, and positivity to the needy, elderly, and homeless in the Northern Kentucky area. They do this by serving hot, full course meals seven days a week and providing a place for people of the community to meet new people and associate with others that are struggling in the area. Because of the current world wide pandemic we are facing, they have been forced to close their doors and only provide carry out meals to those that are in need in the community and it has also caused them to only be able to serve Monday-Friday evenings 4:00-5:30. This is a very sad time, but the small group working at Hosea House is still giving it their all and providing around 200 meals each evening. On top of this, they are trying to go outside and still talk with the people that they are feeding to just give them a place to feel welcomed and help bring joy in their lives. - JOHN HURLEY, NKU STUDENT, ENG 101
A word from Henry Hosea House:
Thank you so much Professor Cullick, and to NKU, The Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project, The Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement and the Learning by Giving Foundation. WOW!
Hosea House has a long and wonderful relationship with NKU, and as I mentioned during our meeting with Professor Cullick’s class, there is a special sense of philanthropy contained within the culture of this fine university. We have been the beneficiary of this over the years, and I’m not strictly speaking of financial support.
Countless classes, student groups and athletic departments have volunteered their time to serve at Hosea House, and one in particular stands out. Not for it’s importance but for its impact and humor. Coach Brannen brought NKU’s basketball team to serve dinner to our clients. They were greeted as rock (or sports) stars and seeing these very tall young men serving in our small dining room was quite a sight. We also had the women’s volleyball team with much the same reaction.
Professor Cullick’s English class was engaged and asked pointed questions regarding the use of any funds granted. Questions like; “How much does it cost to serve a meal?” or “How, exactly will you use this grant?” I suppose, based on this amazing gift, that I was able answer these to their satisfaction, and allow me to say that these funds will go a long way in allowing Hosea House to continue in our mission.
The single greatest impact felt by the COVID-19 disaster has been the drastic reduction of in-kind donations. We have been forced to purchase food and supplies normally donated by outside resource (Kroger, Freestore Food Bank and others). All funds granted here will go to the purchase of these items.
The need in our community did not go away with the arrival of this pandemic. In fact, we are serving greater numbers than ever, some 240 each evening. Fortunately for Hosea House NKU has not gone away either, and while your university faces it’s own challenges, your students and staff continue to reach out to others. This is the sign of a great culture.
Our mission remains the nourishing of the bodies and souls the men, women and children of the Northern Kentucky / Greater Cincinnati communities. Our belief is that every person, regardless of age condition or circumstance deserves a life worth living. And while we cannot solve all the ills of this world, we can offer a delicious meal, prepared with love and served with respect in an atmosphere of relaxation and community. This we can do and this is only possible with your support.
Thank You, God Bless, and Be Well.
- Bruce Stelzer, Director, Hosea House
Professor Cullick: Of course, this was an unusual semester. Normally, we would have invited non-profits to visit our class. Some students might even have asked to visit the non-profits at their sites. We would have had lively discussion in the classroom within and between community boards. With the COVID-19 situation, we could not do any of that. As it happened in all other classes at NKU and across the nation, we found ourselves communicating with each other through the mediation of computer and cell phone screens. All of our Mayerson/Learning-by-Giving discussion and deliberation took place online. Instead of our anticipation waiting in class for a small group of student election “officials” to count paper ballots, we used online voting methods.
And yet, still, somehow we made it work. I am proud of this group of students. Given the difficult circumstances, they took the process seriously and worked diligently.