Area Student Merges Service With Studies At American University

The Shinnston News & Harrison County Journal has named Miranda Lang as March’s Citizen of the Month, a program sponsored by Dorsey Funeral Home in Shinnston – locally owned & operated.

By TRINA RUNNER
News & Journal Staff Writer

“By calling someone a ‘homeless person’, it implies that homelessness is their defining characteristic,” said Bridgeport native Miranda Lang.  “By working directly with those who are temporarily without housing and learning the stories behind the faces, we can see them as fellow human beings and identify ways to help.”

Lang was named HerCampus American’s Woman of the Year for her work at American University College of Arts and Sciences last year.  She also recently received the American University’s Fraternity and Sorority Life’s Undergraduate Service Award.  Both awards were very deserved and centered around a unique project she launched during her junior year of college.

As a leader in American University’s Freshman Service Experience, Lang had the opportunity to take students into Washington, D.C. to do community service projects.  While working with Thrive DC, the group served those experiencing homelessness.  Little did Lang know that a simple conversation with a regular volunteer that day would set into motion a project that changed her life as well as those to whom she donated.

While not usually a subject of conversation, menstrual hygiene products became the focus of Lang’s conversation with the volunteer.  She discovered that the products were hard to come by for those living in homelessness and that donations were limited.  When it came to Lang’s final project for a class dealing with public health and social media, she knew immediately what she would do.  She organized a fundraiser of menstrual hygiene products to benefit Thrive DC with a goal of 300 products and $250 in monetary donations.

“I promoted the project entirely online and within 48 hours of the launch, I had surpassed my goal,” said Lang.  “By the end of project, I was able to donate $3,000 and over 3,000 products to Thrive DC.”

Noting the generosity of the donors, Lang has continued to be an advocate for the cause.  She was featured on the homepage of American University’s website, had her interview published with HerCampus American, and was quoted in an article about New York providing free menstrual hygiene products.  She recently spoke with a women’s group at Bridgeport United Methodist Church about how they could get involved with the efforts and she was also the topic of a feature story on Connect Bridgeport.

Lang was no stranger to community service prior to this experience.  Raised by loving and generous parents Lisa and Andy Lang, she has always known the value of giving back.  She helped with the Bridgeport Challenger League, logged over 200 hours volunteering with an after-school program in high school, and volunteered with Thrive DC, for whom she has interned in both their development team and their #GivingTuesday social media campaign.

Preparing for her May graduation, Lang is currently interning at ReThink Media, a non-profit that focuses on bringing social media tools to organizations working on human rights issues.

Additionally, Lang serves as Website Administrator and past Vice-President of the Phi Mu Fraternity. Her determination to serve others is undeniable and her efforts make fellow Harrison County residents proud to call her one of our own.

 

PHOTO CUTLINE:

 

MIRANDA LANG

%d bloggers like this: