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30 Days of Giving

30 Days of Giving 2017 – Day 11: FIT Students Help the Homeless

Female FIT student puts spackle on the floor to lay new tile.

St. Paul’s House, which has been serving the homeless population of New York City since 1945, has a newly designed and renovated dining room thanks to the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Interior Design Integrated Service Learning Project.

Located in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, St. Paul’s House basement level dining room – which serves meals to over a hundred needy people each week – was a functional, yet poorly designed space. No wall divided the main dining room from the bathroom in the vestibule there was no available space for the plates used to serve the hungry.

FIT Interior Design students, under the direction of associate professor Carmita Sanchez-Fong, re-designed and renovated the space. A new herringbone wood floor, freshly painted walls, new wallpaper, a donated serving table, plus the much-needed wall to partition the dining area from the bathroom, were all completed in just over one week—and at no cost to St. Paul’s.

“What I say to my students is that we have to see interior design as an engine of social change,” says Sanchez-Fong. “How can we use our skills to begin to tilt the balance of inequality in our city? How can we have a positive impact on people?”

Other projects have included the homes of families devastated by Superstorm Sandy, the Bowery Mission Women’s Shelter, Hephzibah House, a Guatemala bottle school, Living Waters Community Center, and Restore NYC, a nonprofit that works with victims of sex trafficking.


30 Days of Giving 2017:

  1. Day 1: Shopping with a Smile
  2. Day 2: Erie Community College Cook-Off for Kidneys
  3. Day 3: Stony Brook Medicine Helps in Puerto Rico
  4. Day 4: A Day of Service at Onondaga CC
  5. Day 5: New Paltz Students Make a Difference
  6. Day 6: Buffalo State College Dares to Care
  7. Day 7: Niagara County CC Students Lend A Hand for Thanksgiving
  8. Day 8: Old Westbury Helps Haiti
  9. Day 9: A Day of Service at SUNY Potsdam
  10. Day 10: Helping Animals at Hudson Valley Community College
  11. Day 11: FIT Students Help the Homeless
  12. Day 12: Morrisville Athletes Go Local For Service
  13. Day 13: SUNY Poly Gives Back Throughout the Region
  14. Day 14: SUNY Oswego Honors Those Battling Ovarian Cancer
  15. Day 15: Brockport Students Volunteer at Thanksgiving
  16. Day 16: SUNY ESF Sends Acorns to Action
  17. Day 17: Doors Open at the Columbia-Greene Community College Giving Closet
  18. Day 18: Monroe Community College Helps Walk for Water
  19. Day 19: SUNY Cortland Supports Crop Hunger Walk
  20. Day 20: Making Music at Farmingdale State to Help the Hungry
  21. Day 21: Increasing Food Security at Dutchess Community College
  22. Day 22: Addressing Food Insecurity On and Around SUNY Geneseo
  23. Day 23: Westchester Community College Plays the UnHunger Games
  24. Day 24: Binghamton University Builds University Assisted Community Schools
  25. Day 25: Mohawk Valley Community College Gives Back To Their Community
  26. Day 26: SUNY Oneonta Students Help Area Children Learn
  27. Day 27: Rockland Community College Comes Together to Aid Puerto Rico
  28. Day 28: Empire State College Donates to Caribbean Relief
  29. Day 29: Schenectady County Community College Students Provide Support to Foster Families
  30. Day 30: Raising Guiding Eyes at SUNY Delhi
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    Written by Fashion Institute of Technology

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