Changemakers Bring Hope to Veterans
Kyle Lowry ’24 knew he wanted to make a difference through volunteerism when he enrolled at York College of Pennsylvania.
Helping others has long been a motivator for Nursing major Kyle Lowry ’24. It’s why he chose to follow in his mother’s footsteps and study nursing.
Kyle decided during his first year at York College of Pennsylvania that he wanted to help people more than he could just through nursing. He applied to join the Spartan Service Alliance, a component of the York College Changemakers program.
The Changemakers are students who innovate and cultivate sustainable social change through strengths-centered community partnerships. The group reaches out to local organizations and connects students with volunteer opportunities.
“I feel like it’s important to help local communities that might not have the resources,” Kyle says. “Helping is always good, and I wanted an opportunity to meet new people with the same mindset.”
For the Love of a Veteran
After attending a first-year seminar about the Changemakers, Kyle realized that he wanted to work with veteran-focused organizations. His grandfather served in the military, and he believed that population doesn’t get enough attention after its members leave the service.
“In my hometown there are often veterans standing outside stores asking for donations. I just thought this would be a good thing to do,” Kyle says.
During his first year, Kyle couldn’t leave the campus to volunteer because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He and the team, including Hannah Craig ’24, Taylor Shipley ’24, Leanne Gotard ’24, Derek Kelly ’24, Yenifer Castillo ’25, and Gina Bolli ’25, worked with For the Love of a Veteran and came up with an outside-of-the-box idea to help with fundraising and awareness from the campus. They created a digital bingo-style board with a donation link and shared it across their social media channels.
Through the digital drive, the Changemakers raised more than $100 for the organization, which assists deployed troops, supports their families, and aids in the fight against post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Kyle and the team also came up with the idea for a thank-you card collection. They asked students to write cards to veterans and delivered them to For the Love of a Veteran.
In fall 2021, Kyle and his fellow Changemakers were able to volunteer in-person. They worked with Glenn Hope Care Farm to set up its fall festival. The 43-acre farm in York County, operated by veterans, offers employment opportunities and supports the physical and mental health of veterans returning from deployment.
“It was really great to see people enjoying the event we put together,” Kyle says.
“A lot of people want to do community service but might not know how to go about it,” Kyle says. He encourages fellow students to reach out to the Changemakers and learn how to get involved.
“It gives me a sense of gratitude knowing that I’m able to help others,” he says.