UI students volunteer throughout the community Saturday
The cold April rain soaked into the ground last Saturday, so raking debris at the McConnell Mansion was more difficult than usual when more than 300 University of Idaho students served their community.
The ASUI Center for Volunteerism and Social Action organized Saturday of Service this past weekend where students and student groups participated in various service projects throughout Moscow and Pullman.
“Our main goal is to get students acquainted with service opportunities in the community,” said Anna Dolezal, outreach coordinator for the Volunteer Center. “It is a really great way for (Greek) houses and clubs and organizations to get (their) community service requirements.”
Community organizations and charities partnered with the Volunteer Center to organize the event. Several of the 21 volunteer sites were outside, one such site was the McConnell Mansion.
The McConnell Mansion, under the stewardship of the Latah County Historical Society, had a rough yard after the winter months. The job was to clean up the yard and make it look good, said Allen Jennings, site leader. The museum hosts events throughout the summer, so the yard has to look good, he said.
“I have never raked in my life,” said Brenna Tume, UI student volunteer.
But Tume has done other kinds of community service, such as working with youth and going on the spring Alternative Service Break (ASB) trip to Wyoming where she helped construct houses. Now, she is trying her hand at yard work.
“It’s a good thing to do,” Tume said. “A lot of charities are under budget and need the help.”
Another group helped to organize the books and VHS tapes at the Salvation Army store in Moscow. Having spent a week together on an ASB trip, Sierra Lile, UI sophomore, said she thought of Saturday as a reunion for her ASB group.
“Saturday of Service was a way we could come back together,” Lile said. “After spending a week together, you miss them.”
Many of the students who volunteered Saturday have been on ASB trips. Allen said ASB leaders encouraged many participants to partake in Saturday of Service.
Each semester the Volunteer Center organizes a day of service, said Natalie Magnus, volunteer coordinator. The fall semester date is done as part of the National Day of Service, when people across the country volunteer, Magnus said.
It was decided that serving the community was so important that a day of service should be done every semester, she said.
For most students, volunteering for Saturday of Service was a small sacrifice that makes the world a better place.
“A little bit of our time can add a lot of value to the community,” said Cailin Bary, UI sophomore and Saturday of Service volunteer.
Graham Perednia can be reached at email@example.com