Seth Perkins, associate professor of health and human performance, and Spencer Way clean a playground during Project Impact in 2008.
“We always assume we know what people need, but usually we don’t have a clue,” said Emily Carlson, coordinator for Union College’s annual volunteer event, “Project Impact gives students an opportunity to see through the eyes of the community and better understand what they’re needing.”
Last year, as assistant leader for Project Impact, Carlson delivered bagels to each site of the 50 sites where Union students were volunteering. In the middle of her journey, she spotted a homeless man. Thinking he could use a bite to eat, she stopped the car, grabbed a bag of bagels and handed it to him.
She drove away feeling good about her kind deed. As she looked in her rear view mirror she watched in shock as the homeless man opened a nearby trashcan and dumped the contents of the bag. He proceeded to shove his personal belongings in the bag and walked off with a smile.