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“If we are to teach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with the children.” – Mahatma Gandhi


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Making sandwiches for the homeless is pretty fun and easy. In fact, it’s so fun and easy that we’ve begun reaching out to local public schools in the Houston area to help us in our cause. We call our new initiative “Sandwich University.” The idea behind Sandwich U. is to create an opportunity for young students between elementary and high school to learn about the critical issues of poverty and homelessness — and to then provide these future leaders with a service opportunity that shows them the power of social entrepreneurship and collective volunteering.

Our program combines a set of flexible workshops where students learn about innovative ideas in social entrepreneurship, the statistics behind Houston and American poverty, and practical tips for creating their own ventures for positive change. Workshops end with students leading their own Sandwiches-for-All event, preparing between 500 – 1000 sack lunches in less than two hours.

Sound interesting? Check out our video below to watch the kids from YES Prep Northbrook leading their own Sandwiches-for-All Event at Rice University. 


Sample Curriculum:

Our curriculum for students combines the following three themes:

  • Intro to Social Entrepreneurship – Workshop provides students with a survey of the concepts behind social entrepreneurship and introduces them to a number of successful projects, founders, and innovative ideas in the field. Example topics include: Muhammad Yunus / Kiva (Microfinance), Blake Mycoskie’s Tom’s Shoes (“One- for-One”), and John Wood’s Room to Read (Global-Local Partnerships)
  • Homelessness in Houston and Abroad – Workshop provides students with a survey of statistics on homelessnes in the city and country, as well as the important social considerations needed to better understand the nuances of these issues.
  • Building your own Social Venture – Workshop provides students with practical steps for building their own social entrepreneurship project. Much of the workshop is focused on showing students they already possess the skills and tools for creating large-scale projects.  Example topics include: Creating the vision, building your team, and using your social network.

Workshops can take place at students’ schools or on the campus of Rice University (with a tour of campus included).

All workshops are followed by a two hour Sandwiches-for-All Event.

Success Stories:

Though this is a new idea for us, we’ve already completed multiple implementations of the Sandwich U. initiative. Here are just a few:

  • Alexander Hamilton Middle School (Nov – Dec ’13, Apr ’14) – For three weeks in November, our volunteers led a series of three workshops to over 200 seventh and eighth grade students in their assembly hall one. The workshops led up to a giant Sandwiches-for-All event right out of Hamilton’s cafeteria. Over 100 students, teachers, administrators, and RCoHH volunteers came together to prepare over 1,000 sack lunches for the homeless — the largest preparation to date. The event was covered by the Houston Chroniclethe Houston Leader News,and the Houston ISD Blog. (Update: The students went on to host a second Sandwiches-for-All Event in April 2014 in celebration of Youth Service Day. Combined, over 200 volunteers came together to prepare and distribute over 2000 sack lunches to Kid’s Meals Houston, a non-profit focused on providing meals for low-income families. Go Hamilton!)
  • YES Prep Northbrook (Feb ’14) – On February 26th, students from YES Prep Northbrook visited Rice University as one of their four service rotations. Students were led through an accelerated workshop on social entrepreneurship and poverty, given a tour of the university, and completed their own Sandwiches-for-All event — making over 500 sack lunches in less than two hours.
  • IBB Girls Program (Mar ’14) – On March 11th, 20 high school girls participating in the Rice Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering program at Rice University listened to our workshop on social entrepreneurship and the power of technology to create social change. The workshop was followed by a Sandwiches-for-All Event in which students prepared over 200 sack lunches.
  • Phillis Wheatley High (May ’14) – On May 1st, RCoHH volunteers participated in the Wheatley High Career Fair — offering students career insights on social entrepreneurship and public policy as well as tips for attending and succeeding in college and beyond.
  • Eastwood High (Dec ’14) – On Dec 3rd, RCoHH volunteers worked with a newly formed Sandwiches-for-All club at Eastwood High School to help them get their own campus club off the ground. With the help of 35 high school students, we were able to prepare over 350 meals for the homeless. Even more exciting, the Eastwood High students are looking to start hosting their own events as a special chapter.


Interested in enrolling your school or class for Sandwich U.?

We’d love to host them! Just send us an email at with the subject line of: “Sandwich U.” and the name of your school or group. Tell us a little about your students in the email and how you think we can help. We’ll be sure to schedule a meeting to figure out the details.

Check us out on the trail! (Please note: To maintain the confidentiality of our clients, we never post their photos online.) [flickr_set id=”72157641848087494″ max_num_photos = “36” images_height = “100” lightbox = “colorbox”]

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