I learned more in those three days about the lives and workings of the homeless community in San Diego than I have learned in all of the years I have spent volunteering with them.
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San Diego, CA (Vocus) December 29, 2009
Sean Sheppard, Founder and CEO of a prominent nonprofit organization, Embrace , a Board Member for Alliance Healthcare and a Georgetown University Graduate along with Wendy Fry, a web-journalist for KPBS, took to the streets of San Diego on December 4th to immerse themselves in the lifestyle of San Diego's homeless population. The two spent three-days, two-nights living amongst the homeless. Fry met Sheppard while covering an Embrace/San Diego State University blanket drive for the homeless that she was covering for a news story.
Sheppard's background in working with the homeless population and Fry's potential KPBS story based on overcoming her fears of the homeless sparked the two to team up and set out on the streets, with no food or money and only the back of Sheppard's SUV to sleep in at night.
"I learned more in those three days about the lives and workings of the homeless community in San Diego than I have learned in all of the years I have spent volunteering with them," said Sheppard. "The caring nature and generosity we experienced, particularly in the soup kitchen, God's Extended Hand , touched both of us deeply."
Sheppard will take his experience as a learning tool to educate fellow Alliance Healthcare Foundation board members for future funding opportunities, improve the homeless service branch of Embrace and increase his understanding of the needs and thoughts of the homeless community.
Fry plans to use the insight she gained over her three days on the streets to finish her story pitch for KPBS.
Embrace, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, connects college students to local government and other nonprofits to create a community outreach/service learning model that utilizes college students to remedy community problems such as preventive health and homelessness. In 2007, Sean Sheppard began volunteering his time to feed the homeless once a week with the San Diego Chargers and soon discovered that he had a passion for improving the lives of the homeless population. His ultimate goal is to bring about legislation that makes community service mandatory for all college students that attend state funded institutions of higher education.
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