Every year, the Residence Hall Association provides students on campus with the opportunity to serve as part of Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. The event, which has been sponsored by USA WEEKEND and Points of Light for over two decades, aims to connect people with opportunities to serve while increasing an overall sense of community. It might sound like a simple concept, but every year millions of volunteers come together to make a difference in the communities in which they live.
“When we first got to St. Vincent de Paul there were two men working in the department that we were volunteering in. They were sorting through box after box of donated items. Once we started to help, the boxes were emptying so much faster and I realized how much they needed our help. The work we got done in 1 hour, could have taken them 5!”
〜 Becky Wood, First-Year Student
This past Friday, August 23rd, marked the 10th Annual Into the Streets event! This opportunity is a one-day event that sends first-year students off-campus and into the Greater Green Bay Community. As part of Week of Welcome, Into the Streets gives students the chance to get acquainted with the wonderful community and peers they will be surrounded by for the next four years through an afternoon of service.
The day began with a send-off rally led by Cristi Burrill, Assistant Director of Leadership Development. The following video was shown to help reveal the true impact the students would be making through their collaborative effort.
Into the Streets 2013 was a huge success. Here are 8 awesome reasons why!
1.) This year was the 10th annual event.
2.) 545 volunteers participated.
3.) Volunteers helped out at 42 sites in the Greater Green Bay Area.
4.) Around 1,090 hours of service were completed.
5.) One of the sites was the Potato Drop. At this site, around 80 students, staff, and alumni unloaded and distributed more than 42,000 pounds of potatoes.
6.) The potatoes were distributed to 15 local pantries.
7.) St. Norbert College received a $1,500 grant from Walmart to support the event.
8.) Into the Streets is the largest St. Norbert College community service event each year.
After the event, we had a chance to hear from a few students who had volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul. Their primary activity was rough-sorting donation items. After reflecting on the events of the day, two of the students made the same realization.
“Spending the afternoon at St. Vincent de Paul was a great way to see a different side of volunteering. It was a humbling experience to see how much work the volunteers put into making the donations ready for sale.”
〜 Steph Blumer, First-Year Student
“After getting a tour of the many departments within St. Vincent de Paul, I realized how important volunteers are for them. I never realized how much work goes into every item before it is sold. It makes me appreciate the volunteers who go in every morning to make it possible.”
Through their own volunteer efforts, they realized just how much of an impact regular volunteers can have on an organization. Into the Streets was an eye-opening experience for all who were involved and it was a great way to kick off the new school year!
Into the Streets is organized by the St. Norbert College Office of Leadership, Student Engagement, and First Year Experience with the support of the Sturzl Center for Community Service and Learning and the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations.
If you are interested in getting more involved with service at St. Norbert College, find the Sturzl Center for Community Service and Learning on Facebook!
By Laura Riley