Every year, the Social Action Leadership Team (SALT) works to create more opportunities for students on campus and beyond to empower each other while also working to better the community.
Through the Ministry of the Chapel of Resurrection, SALT holds many events a year--big and small--to keep working on goals that contribute to the community. While this year has been quite a challenge due to the pandemic, SALT has still been able to raise awareness of issues virtually. The organization aims to connect students and the community through influential work that can benefit and change the lives of those in need.
According to sophomore and general member of SALT, Danielle Durak, SALT’s biggest event is the World Relief Campaign or WRC.
“This year, our theme is restorative housing for incarcerated individuals in Gary, Ind.,” Durak said. “The 5k is a fundraiser for the WRC campaign, and people who sign up will receive a free t-shirt and mask to wear for the race. The entry fee is $20 and our Instagram is @salt_5k. You can join in person or virtually and it will happen on May 1. People who participate have the choice to run or walk it.”
In an interview with Valparaiso University Television (VUTV), general member Rachel Miotke explained the goals of the organization SALT is partnering with this year.
“This year our world relief campaign is called a Haven for Hope, restorative housing. So we decided to partner with the Community Change center which is a center out in Gary. It’s a fairly new organization,” Miotke said. “It was actually founded by a recent social work graduate of Valparaiso University.”
Miotke told VUTV that the Haven for Hope organization funds case management, education, insurance and other things that would help previously incarcerated individuals to reintegrate into society.
“Their mission is to help build two new houses and restore them...in those houses will be formerly incarcerated individuals and the mission [at the organization] is to help and rehabilitate them, help them get back into society,” Miotke said.
SALT gives students a chance to gather and come together in the community. SALT comes together to express the Christian call to be the ‘salt of the earth’, according to their website.
“Our organization includes a diverse range of people who are passionate about social action,” Durak said. “We reflect God's love for people by cultivating skills of fundraisers, community organizing and engagement, and raising awareness. We are equipped to be the source of positive change within communities and lead lives of social justice.”
Students of Valparaiso University in SALT are encouraged to lead life by finding social justice through power, work ethic, and kindness.
“The most unique aspect of SALT is the diversity of people that are involved and being able to impact the community in a positive way by fundraising and donating to people in need. We are able to help others in society and this reflects following in God's footsteps,” Durak said.
More information on SALT and the WRC can be found on their Instagram page, @valposalt. Despite the difficult times, SALT still encourages students to safely get involved in a cause that can better benefit the community. SALT currently offers in-person and virtual options for their events for students to feel the most comfortable.