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“Window Shopping”: Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Features Stark Display

Unlike Falvey’s typically colorful first floor window displays, this month’s display has a somber tone, appropriate to its subject matter, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (HHAW). The display was designed and mounted by Victoria Stork and Alyson Malick, two Villanova seniors, who spent very little money, using recycled materials whenever possible.

HHAW was founded in 1975 by the late Rev. Ray Jackson, O.S.A., and some committed Villanova students. Now more than 500 campuses and communities participate in the event: Its purpose is to “raise awareness in the Villanova community about hunger and homelessness within the United States and around the world” … [t]hrough education, service, and advocacy…  . Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is motivated by the belief in the inherent dignity of all people and our responsibility to uphold the common good of society.”

At the top center of Falvey’s display is a large banner, “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week,” designed by Joanne Quinn, a member of the Programming and Outreach team. In this case, the banner as well as the two panels to its left and right, one telling about Father Jackson and the other explaining “Our Mission,” were created for last year’s exhibit and reused again this year.

Below the banners are simple signs, hand lettered on inexpensive construction paper, listing the various events, such as Fast Day, Sleep Out, Faces of Homelessness and others, which take place during HHAW. Accompanying the signs are some small pyramids of canned goods representing the food drive held during the week.

The bottom of the display case is covered in burlap with groups of boxes at either end: the boxes represent a box city created by homeless people and also refer to the event “Sleep Out, Boxed Into Homelessness,” which is part of HHAW.

Flanking the entire display are two fabric panels of  bare tree trunks, suggesting the uncomfortable outdoor life experienced by the homeless. These panels are also recycled from other exhibits.

This very basic nature of this exhibit draws the attention of viewers and makes a lasting impression of the misery suffered by homeless and hungry people. It also clearly publicizes the events which are part of HHAW on the Villanova campus.

By Alice Bampton

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Last Modified: November 18, 2009