Helping Hands strives to cultivate a sense of community among NSU students. With their annual Black History Month play, they hope to remind students that the voices of the black community are powerful, despite the current political climate in the U.S.
The RSO’s play is titled “The Evolution of African-American Culture” and will seek to inspire audience members through stories of the Civil Rights Movement. The author of the play, George Spivey, said his piece will serve as a reminder of how far the community has already come.
“Our goal is to inform everyone that we’re still in control; we still have the power to overcome obstacles,” Spivey said, citing the journey of Martin Luther King Jr. as an example of what black people have already achieved in America.
“We’re still looking for a way to incorporate more of the election outcome and the protests,” Helping Hands President Joy Trahan said. “We’re trying to open eyes–to make college students aware of what’s going on around them.”
Trahan said that Helping Hands advocates for the education of voters. Voting, even in local elections, is an effective way to amplify one’s voice, the business administration major said.
The play is on Feb. 23 in Magale Recital Hall. The central message will be shown through music, monologues, dances and poetry. The Brainy Acts Poetry Society will perform poetry and songs during intermission.
Helping Hands annually writes and performs plays in February, but they are an active service organization year-round.
They volunteer both at NSU and with the larger Natchitoches community. Currently, they work with the food pantry, nursing homes, The Boys and Girls Club and The Wesley.
“Really, if anybody needs help with anything, they can call us,” Trahan said. When Louisiana experienced a series of floods last year, Trahan said that one of their members’ homes caught on fire. The organization quickly responded with donations and volunteer work.
Helping Hands is working on a number of fundraisers. As a non-profit group, all of the money they raise goes back into the Natchitoches community.
“I’m all about service,” Trahan said. “When I see someone struggling, whether it’s my peer or a stranger, I want to help them. I want to spread my passion with others.”