Past-President of the Social Work Club and recent EPCC Social Work Graduate, Gloria Vidal sewing clear masks. | Photo courtesy EPCC
While the novel Coronavirus has disrupted much of daily life, it hasn’t kept El Paso Community College’s (EPCC) Social Work Club from their commitment to community service.
When the pandemic hit, the club started making cloth masks to distribute in the community. After learning the benefits clear masks provide to increase communication for the Deaf community, the club began making them.
So far, the group has made 70 clear masks and has over 100 requests for additional masks, from far-ranging places across the state, like San Antonio and Brownsville, to other states, such as New Mexico, Arizona and California.
Past-President of the Social Work Club and recent EPCC Social Work Graduate, Gloria Vidal, has been spearheading these mask-making efforts.
“It has been an honor to be a part of this club and it has been an honor to lead this club. My passion to help has been complemented by the hard work and dedication of the club team members. I owe great gratitude and appreciation to my fantastic club members for sharing my commitment to helping the community.”
Masks aren’t the only way the club is helping the community during this difficult time. They’ve also been visiting the Delta Center, a temporary shelter that was opened to help those affected and left homeless by COVID-19.
Michelle Hazelwood, a Social Work Major and very active club member, is also a licensed Cosmetologist and volunteered to cut the hair of the guests there since she knows that self-care is critical for people in recovery. She reached out to the other members of the Social Work Club, who supported her by going with her and feeding the homeless while Michelle cuts hair and by helping her financially with the sanitation supplies needed to give the haircuts.
“The Social Work Club has given me a sense of belonging that I have never truly had before. I cannot imagine attending school and not having these amazing people in my life. The professors are extremely supportive and continuously praising us for our drive, determination and willingness to be there for the citizens of El Paso.”
Giving back to the community has been a long-standing priority for the Social Work Club. Since the beginning of the 2019-2020 Academic Year, the club has participated in approximately 25 services activities, including ones at the Child Crisis Center and Opportunity Center.
Club Advisor and Social Work Assistant Professor Chris Salas, and his Co-Advisor, Mrs. Roxanne Parker, love seeing the passion that the students have for volunteering and helping their community.
“The Social Work Club is a highly motivated group that prides itself on the work and assistance it provides to the EPCC and the entire El Paso community. The students find time to juggle work, family, school and still find time to take on multiple activities.”
Arvis Jones, Director of Student Leadership and Campus Life, is proud of the contributions many of the EPCC clubs are making at this time.
“The Social Work Club is doing a great job giving back to the El Paso Community. Their efforts, like those of the Philosophy Club, who has made hundreds of cloth masks for the community and another 300 for EPCC students, are representative of the commitment that many of our EPCC clubs have to helping others during this difficult time.”
Presently, there are 20 active Social Work Club members. The club is open to all EPCC students, not just Social Work Majors.
For those interested in joining, they can contact Club Advisor Christian Salas via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 915-831-2469.