SOLA is gearing up for spring

Jean Georges
Staff Writer

Is it spring yet? For members of Millersville University’s Society On Latino Affairs (S.O.L.A.), plans are being made to celebrate the new season with several community service initiatives.
On Saturday, April 12, S.O.L.A. is co-sponsoring Diversity Walk/Run, a public fundraising event in Downtown Lancaster with the goal of promoting diversity not only within the Millersville University community, but among all the residents of Lancaster City as well.
“S.O.L.A’s role in the Diversity Walk/Run is to be one of the many sponsors that will be a part of the community service,” said Ricardo Brens Matos, president of S.O.L.A and a junior at Millersville majoring in Spanish education with a minor in Latino studies.
Joining the sponsor line-up for Diversity are the Spanish American Civic Association, a Lancaster-based nonprofit dedicated to fostering the well-being of Lancaster County Latinos, and MU’s Social Work Organization, a student organization that serves as a link between the University and social services in the community. Proceeds from the initiative will benefit programs of these two groups.

SOLA members at the Water Street Rescue Mission. From left to right: 1st row (middle): Gabriela Encarnacion & Ricardo Brens Matos 2nd row: Lizbeth Lara, Keiri Gonzalez, Nicole Rodriguez, Yatzi Garcia & Carlos Diaz 3nd row: Francis Ozuna, Cassie Wright, Hector Santana, Gregory Goya, Ashley Effrece & Shaq Glover
SOLA members at the Water Street Rescue Mission.
From left to right: 1st row (middle): Gabriela Encarnacion & Ricardo Brens Matos
2nd row: Lizbeth Lara, Keiri Gonzalez, Nicole Rodriguez, Yatzi Garcia & Carlos Diaz
3rd row: Francis Ozuna, Cassie Wright, Hector Santana, Gregory Goya, Ashley Effrece & Shaq Glover

“Being part of the Diversity community service [event] is another big step that S.O.L.A. has taken on. It’s our second community service that we’re sponsoring, besides Water Street Mission, where we collected canned foods around Lancaster City for the homeless people of this city,” Brens Matos said.
Later that month, on Saturday, April 26, S.O.L.A. will participate in the 2014 YWCA Race Against Racism three-mile walk/run held in Downtown Lancaster, a community initiative with a starting point at Musser Park in the city. The fundraising event will help fund YWCA programs that support racial justice.
“The fact that I am helping by changing someone else’s life in a good way makes me feel important and useful in society. In addition, I have always loved giving back to the community and S.O.L.A. has been a perfect way to be able to accomplish this,” said Brens Matos.
The next day, on Sunday, April 27, S.O.L.A. is looking forward to participating in the March of Dimes’ March for Babies 2.5-mile fundraising walk convening at the Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center in Lititz, Pa. The event will raise money for programs that help ensure the health of babies, both before and after birth.
“Being part of March of Dimes and Race Against Racism is a great opportunity for our members, as well as for us (the board members) to give back to the community. We have participated in these events for over three years now, and they are two of our most exciting events,’ Brens Matos said.
“All of the three events promote awareness of something, which helps those who these community services are made for. It also lets individuals become part of making a change in someone else’s life, which I think is fantastic,” he added.

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