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Experiencing Grief

I was listening to a podcast this week called “Unlocking Us” by Brené Brown. During the episode, Brené began to introduce a guest on the show. When she had shared that her guest was David Kessler, an expert on healing and loss, I nearly stopped listening to the podcast. “I’m not searching for help with healing and loss,” I thought. But as instant as the thought came to mind, Brené quickly shared that grief isn’t necessarily about losing someone, but losing something. My interest was instantly re-captured.

Mr. Kessler began to explain that we are all grieving the loss of the world we lived in prior to the COVID-19 global lockdown. Just like other losses, we didn’t know what we had until it was gone. The pandemic that has swept across the entire world disrupted our daily routines, eliminated face-to-face interaction with those we are closest to, and is now preventing weekly social and worship gatherings that many of us have.

Mr. Kessler then shared a parable of a man that entered a long dining room with a huge table full of food that looked and smelled amazing. With plenty of people seated at the table with long spoons—several feet long—to easily reach the food, the man observed their disappointment and frustration of being unable to bring the spoon to their mouths due to the long length of their utensils. As the man scanned the room, he observed that instead of everyone being happy that they were sitting at this massive table featuring so many delicious options, they were instead upset. This dining room was labeled hell.

Then the man went to enter an entirely different dining room with the exact same setup where everyone was incredibly happy, festive, and full of life. The only difference was that the people sitting at the table were feeding each other across the table. The man observed their facial expressions and noticed that everyone had facial expressions of happiness and contentment. They had learned to take care of each other. This dining room was labeled heaven.

During this historically unique time, it’s become quite clear that generosity in service is not an optional component of Walla Walla University. Now is the time I believe we need to pull together even more in order to serve and take care of one another. Now is the time to shine even brighter in our community even in the smallest of ways possible.
Last week, we hosted a conference call open to all of you, our strongest supporters, which brought in over 20 great ideas of ways we can still work together while living apart. We have set up a channel on Microsoft Teams for those interested in keeping the conversation alive about ways to serve. Our leadership team has started to highlight specific areas where some of your ideas can be implemented but we still need your help as we figure out how to do service from home. Take a look below to find some opportunities for engagement. 

E. David Lopez

P.S. Are there project in your area that needs support? Let us know!

Volunteer Opportunities
CARE Weekend
2 pm Saturday, April 4 - Instagram Story Challenge
We challenge you to find three friends to call and post stories to encourage three others to do the same.

Provided by: CHE

Groceries to Community
Searching for volunteers to pick up groceries or pharmacy items for door delivery to the elderly in Walla Walla.
A volunteer form can be found here.

Provided by: Walla Walla Mutual Aid Network

Blood Drive or Volunteer From Home
Blood Drive (just update your zip code) Here 
The Red Cross is also prepared 25 plus opportunities to be virtual or stay at home volunteers click here to find out more. 

Provided by: American Red Cross

CHE Ambassador Program

Because of a generous donation from one of our supporting family foundations, I'm excited to announce that we will be able to hire student ambassadors for the Center for Humanitarian Engagement (CHE) here at Walla Walla University. This will help us carry out our efforts more effectively in your local areas. Here are some positions that are currently open and available for students who are eligible to work. All ambassador positions will report to the CHE and be paid 5-12 hours a week, based on the student’s availability and position demands. Students will need to be self-motivated and comfortable managing projects remotely. Stay connected to our website and social media channels next week for more information and ambassador positions that will open up.

Thank You Ambassador
Take the lead on a thank you card campaign for our health care providers.
CHE is designing thank you card for WWU family to download/print and distribute or upon request can be mailed a packet of cards to be signed.

His Kids in Action Ambassador
Looking for someone interested in helping children have a worshipful experience each week. Fresh and relevant content will be sent to parents and children weekly with a story, craft, and song.

 Student / Faculty Engagement Ambassador
Needing a creative person to help work alongside our Health and Wellness Director to implement additional student and faculty engagement. From notes of encouragement to online videos for social media.

Personal Protection Equipment Ambassador
With the increasing need for masks, we are looking for someone to help put a program together to disseminate kits to send out to students or community members to assemble. 

Please send your interest to or click here to set up a one-on-one meeting with David Lopez via zoom or phone.
Copyright © 2020 | Walla Walla University I Center for Humanitarian Engagement | All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
204 S. College Ave. (KRH 217) . College Place WA 99324 
(509) 527-2100

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