In his poem, If, Rudyard Kipling writes: “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch…” These words perfectly describe Pamela Atkinson. Ms. Atkinson is known for her charitable work with the low income families and homeless in Utah. On Thursday, November 10, she will be coming to BYU to talk to us about how we too can help the underprivileged.
The event will be held in the WILK in room 3224 at 11am. Rachel Osterloh of the Office of Civic Engagement says: “Pamela Atkinson’s lecture is intended to encourage involvement with organizations that assist homeless individuals and families, refugees and low-income people in our communities. We hope that BYU students and faculty that attend will be able to gain a better understanding of how they can volunteer in a variety of settings and make a difference in their respective communities.”
Who is Pamela Atkinson?
This is Ms. Atkinson’s specialty. When she was younger, she volunteered at a Salvation Army dining room. She remembers fondly the major telling her to greet and shake each person’s hand; this provided them with physical contact, which was something homeless people often lack. From this experience, she was hooked: “I’m addicted to volunteering.”
This addiction has led Ms. Atkinson to work with various governments to help the homeless. It is this involvement that prompted the Government to name their homeless fund after her: Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund. Forbes contributor Devin Thorpe cites these lessons as the kinds she teaches:
- Remember that ego has no role in service
- Don’t ‘be afraid to speak out’
- Never let issues interfere with relationships
- Small things make a difference
- everyone can do something
- There is power to a touch or a smile
- ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.’
- If she can do it, so can I
- Avoid Emotional Bankruptcy
It’s so easy to think that college students can’t do anything to help others, that we simply don’t have enough to give. But, even if all that can be given is like a widow’s mite, it’s still a mite.
How Will You Help?
Be sure to go to the panel discussion “Since I Live in Provo, Why Not Get Involved?”
If you missed any of the Office of Civic Engagement’s other events, we have the recaps here: Addressing the Epidemic of Child Poverty, #AllVotesMatter, and A Student’s Reflections on the Political Involvement Fair