OU provides 6th annual Day of Service

Day of Service gathers students to volunteer for local non-profit organizations.

Volunteers+helped+make+cereal+necklaces+for+Grace+Centers+of+hope+on+OU+Day+of+Service.+Check+out+our+Facebook+page+for+more+photos.+

Mary Mitchell

Volunteers helped make cereal necklaces for Grace Centers of hope on OU Day of Service. Check out our Facebook page for more photos.

Gina Navaroli, Reporter

Originally published on Nov. 19, 2016. 

Oakland University students dedicated 12 hours of volunteer work for the sixth annual Day of Service on Nov. 18. With over 15 projects, students came together to help the needy.

Nonprofit organizations included Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Fleece & Thank You, Rainbow Connection, Red Cross Hospitals in Michigan, Clawson’s Senior Center, Beyond Basics, Arts & Scraps, Macomb Homeless Coalition, Operation GratitudeMichigan Animal Rescue League, Children’s Hospital in Troy, Ruth Ellis Center, Grace Centers of Hope, Easterseals, Hispanic Heritage Month and Sole Hope.

From making holiday food baskets for the Older Persons’ Commission, rain-proof blankets for the homeless, therapy kits for cancer patients and countless other projects, every hand made an impact.

Hannah Clark, communication major and graduate assistant for service learning for the Center for Student Activities and Leadership Development (CSA), talked about volunteering and the preparation put into the event.

“It runs all day, so it’s really easy for you to come,” Clark said. “It’s a great way to learn about different nonprofits in your area. It’s always a great time to give back. Since the holidays are coming up, it’s kinda the season for giving back.”

Oakland Athletics sponsored the Giving Tree. Students could pick an ornament off of the tree and purchase the object written on the ornament to donate to local charities for the holidays. Donors must hand in their objects and ornaments to the Athletics Center by Dec. 9.

A lot of preparation went into Day Of Service, Clark said. The CSA began organizing the event around the end of September.

“We reached out to different nonprofits in the area . . . and we also reach out to different departments and student organizations on campus to see if they want to co-sponsor,” Clark said.

Clark encouraged students to volunteer in their communities. She admitted that it is common for students to participate in order to build their resumes. However, she said she believes volunteering is a way to learn more about yourself through helping others.

“I hope they leave inspired and will want to contribute to more volunteer events, not just at OU, but in their community, as well,” Clark said.

Every table was packed with upbeat students who were working together. Senior nursing major Natalie Stone explained her admiration for Day Of Service.

“Very rewarding,” Stone said. “Especially with the upcoming holiday season, it really provides you with a sense of fulfillment, knowing that you are making a difference to those in need.”

Stone has participated in Day Of Service for the past three years. This year, she helped make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the Grace Centers of Hope.

She appreciates the Day Of Service’s coordinators for choosing local organizations because her volunteering is directly benefiting the community she lives in.

“I was just very excited to be able to help out those in need,” Stone said. “Even in a time where there is a lot of anger and violence, all different students can come together to help out others.”

Stone said her biggest motivator in volunteering is the sense of fulfillment and the way it put life in perspective.

OU students can look forward to volunteering next year, as the Day Of Service will continue to help the community.