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Human Development Students Foster a Sense of Hope

Posted by struscott | April 26, 2010

Many school projects result in students creating presentations and writing papers. In instructor Becky Dueben’s online Human Development 205 class, students went above and beyond standard project requirements by collecting a huge number of household items for donation to a local charity.

“This course was designed to use experiential education to teach students the value of getting involved,” said Becky Dueben. “One part of this class is to have all the students get involved and create a project benefiting an organization.”


L-R: Shawn McCracken, HD 205 community service partner; Kathryn Billington, student; Maura Todd, student; Tamara Bertino, student, at Homes for Hope, dropping off the donations they collected.

On April 24, three of Dueben’s students accompanied her to deliver over 2,800 donated items to the Clarkston-based charity Homes for Hope, which serves foster families in eight counties in Washington and Idaho. Students collected donations from families and friends, and set up collection bins at local churches and businesses.

Dueben said it was students who chose Homes for Hope as the charity for the final project. Homes for Hope was chosen in large part because of student Kathryn Billington’s endorsement of the charity.


Photos by Kathryn R. Sullivan

“I really pushed our class to choose this organization,” Billington said. “I was a former foster child, and I know how much help places like Homes for Hope needs. When children enter foster care, there is this assumption that everything will be fine after that, but that is not always the case, so that is why it was so important for us to get these items.”

The drop off was the first time Dueben, Billington, and the two other students met in person. Student Maura Todd said that meeting her fellow students as well as the Homes for Hope Room coordinator, Shawn McCracken, was a truly great experience.

“Meeting everyone was really impressive, uplifting and heartwarming,” Todd said. “It was really exciting to meet everyone and feel like we were all making a difference.”

McCracken said she was equally as excited to meet Dueben and the students, and to collect their donation of clothes, toys, books, bathtubs, and a crib.

“This donation really is a godsend for us,” McCracken said. “All of these donations help incredibly because these foster families really come from nothing.”

By Kathryn R. Sullivan, Marketing and News intern