About 20 students got together early on Saturday Sept. 28 to volunteer with SOS, the Salvation Army, Career to Cradle and Crosswinds as a part of the Emporia State Serves program.
“It’s open to anyone who wants to come in on a Saturday morning,” said Blyth Eddy, director of student activities and community service. “I think it’s also a really good chance for international students to see what it’s like in America and to volunteer their time. To work with domestic students is great, I know they appreciate that opportunity.”
The list of participating businesses was provided by United Way of the Flint Hills, said Eddy. While many of the students participating had some form of community service requirement, many were simply glad to be involved.
“This is my third or fourth time with ESU serves…I feel like I want my weekend and my Saturdays to have meaning,” said Yifang Hao, a graduate assistant in the school of business.“I want to be involved otherwise I would just spend my time sleeping late. It’s nice to do something good.”
Many students find themselves wanting to volunteer. Certain students appreciate the opportunity to give to the community. For example, Hao helping Crosswinds remodel their front planters.
“It’s always important to be active in the community,” said Anthony Delgado, freshman health and human performance major, who is also employed at Crosswinds. “It’s good to help out wherever you can.”
Delgado had a friend who worked with Crosswinds and recommended that he try it out.
“I had to do a lot of service in my high school sports team,” said Delagado. “So, it showed me how it’s always important to help out.”
Some of the volunteers were in Greek life and had to perform a certain amount of community service regardless.
“I’m the service and giving chairman for my sorority, I love being involved in Emporia and on the campus,” said Kelly Bailey, junior biology major. “It’s important for students to see other students working towards improving campus life. Usually, it’s a custodian or staff member, but it’s important that we work together.”
At the 1420 C of E Drive SOS Center, several students were tasked with organizing the clothing and household goods rooms. SOS advocates had an easier time bringing clients into the packed rooms.
“I like that we are all about helping everyone not just women and kids,” said Christina Reyna, SOS worker and ESU alumna. “Usually, when people come to us, they aren’t in great places so watching them get back up on their feet and getting to watch them blossom into this amazing person is great.”
Students looking to get involved can email Eddy in the Center for Student Involvement at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information on ESU Serves events.