Wake Student Finds Inspiration Among The City’s Homeless | Winston Salem , North Carolina | Winston-Salem Journal
With four final exams and a paper due before Christmas break, Amy Liang devoted every free minute to studying.
Except for one very special block of time.
Liang’s Saturday mornings, without exception, belong to the homeless men and women of Winston-Salem. For the past four years, Liang, 21, has participated in Wake Saturdays, a student-led organization that serves meals on Patterson Avenue to the city’s homeless.
Beyond serving food, the program stresses building relationships with the men, women and children who stop by for meals.
Liang used to fret that the program ate up too much of her Saturdays.
“I can’t think of it as time away from studying, but as, ‘This is how I spend my Saturdays,'” Liang said. “These are things that are really important.”
For her work with Wake Saturdays and other programs focusing on homelessness, Liang was recently given a Community Impact Student Award, which Gov. Bev Perdue gives each year to 20 college students in the state.
Liang has become well-known among some of the city’s advocates for the homeless, including Willis Miller, the assistant director for Samaritan Ministries. While some well-intentioned students may show up to serve in the ministries’ soup kitchen for a few months before losing interest, Liang’s commitment has been unwavering, he said.
“Each year, she keeps coming back. That, in itself, shows that she really likes the people she’s working with. She’s got a good attitude and is a well-focused young lady,” Miller said. “She has been a blessing to us.”