A couple weeks before Christmas, Brandon Meyer, a freshman student at Robert Morris University, was outside of Kuhn’s Market in Moon Township ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. All students at RMU are expected to perform some kind of community service during their freshman year. The experience not only teaches them the value of giving back, but it’s also one of the first things that’s documented on their Student Engagement Transcript
Brandon and his roommate, Andrew Bradburn, braved the cold for three hours outside the supermarket collecting donations from passersby. What’s funny is that, despite the frigid temperatures, Brandon was filled with an unexpected warmth.
“I really do have to say that this experience was life changing,” says Brandon. “I’ve never have had an experience like this. You really understand what a good cause it is and how you can change someone's life—which is what RMU is all about.”
When the two roommates returned to campus, they headed over to the cafeteria for lunch. There, one of the cashiers told Brandon to make sure he spent the money on his card so that it wouldn’t go to waste. This got Brandon thinking. “I started wondering how I could contribute to some families that may not have enough food for Christmas.” That’s when he got in contact with the Salvation Army.
With the help of RMU Dining Services, Brandon spoke with Marion Herbert of the Salvation Army. “He called and told us that he’d put two turkeys and two hams on his card,” says Herbert. “I was really touched and very surprised that a young man that’s in college would even be thinking of that. Just very, very impressed with his spirit of giving. He definitely went out of his way to make sure that it was given, and I’m sure that some people around here will be very grateful to get this.”
Brandon is a member of RMU’s Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, which has put in a total of 499 hours of community service this semester.
Now other students are following Brandon’s lead. Currently a campaign is in the planning stages to donate unused dining plan money to feed impoverished families. It’s just another example of how RMU students are working to change lives every day.
As for Brandon, this holiday season will always have a special meaning to him. “It is something that I am very proud of,” he says, “and I really hope that I was able to change someone’s Christmas.