The Voice: Summer 2003

The Voice

Social work majors raise awareness of their vocation

By: Sally Jongsma

Most people don’t know much about social work, says Beth Hankinson, a senior social work major at Dordt. “Some people seem to think that social workers are just the people who take kids away,” she says. “There’s so much more to it than that.”

This March, Hankinson and several of her classmates tried to show people what social work is actually about when they got out of the classroom and into the community for the 20th annual Social Work Month. Sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers, Social Work Month offers an opportunity for Dordt’s social work department to get the word out about their program. In Social Work Practice, a class led by Professor Carl Dragt, students were asked to plan events for this year’s Social Work Month.

To begin planning for the month, the students formed a committee and appointed Hankinson as the chairperson. After they held a bake sale to raise funds, the students held a food drive, with proceeds going to the Family Crisis Center and Amistad Cristiana, a Hispanic worship fellowship in Sioux Center.

“As social workers we are called to be active in the community,” says Hankinson. “The food drive was a really good way to do that.”

Later in the month, the students held a number of events to inform the Dordt College community about the ins and outs of social work. One night, they served hot chocolate at the Campus Center, and another time they handed out cotton candy and fifty cent coupons for the Humble Bean coffee shop.

“Those two events were a lot of fun,” says Hankinson. “Plus, a lot of people would ask us, ‘what is this all about?’ That gave us an opportunity to tell them about social work—what it’s all about.”