Over 500 students participate in annual OU Day of Service

Over+500+students+participated+in+this+years+OU+Day+of+Service.+

Noora Neiroukh

Over 500 students participated in this year’s OU Day of Service.

Joseph Popis, Senior Reporter

This year’s OU Day of Service was a great success that saw a variety of students, faculty and staff support the community. The event took place on Wednesday, Nov 17, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Ballrooms A & B of the Oakland Center.

The Leadership and Volunteer Center (LVC) were the organizers of this event. Various on and off-campus organizations sponsored tables with different service projects that participants were able to assist in. Since the service event ran all day and was flexible, students could come and go as they pleased.

“It was a day for anyone: students, faculty and staff,” Daryl Blackburn, coordinator of Leadership and Service programs, said. “We ran it all day because it is easy to access for someone to come in and give back to the community. It allows us to give back on a greater scale. We allowed people to sign in and out as much as they wanted.”

The Leadership and Volunteer Center partnered with both on-campus and off-campus organizations to provide projects for students to partake in. These on-campus organizations included: the Association of Black Students (ABS), Student Program Board (SPB), American Red Cross Club (ARCC) and Project Big Sister (PBS). Off-campus organizations featured: Project Linus, Oakland County Schools, Walton Wood Senior Living and Give Kids the World Village.

SPB was one of the on-campus organizations that sponsored a table at the OU day of service.

“For OU day of service, we sponsored one of the service tables,” Joshua Robinson, president of SPB, said. “What that sponsorship involved was a table dedicated to making cards sent to soldiers who are deployed around the United States. In addition, we hosted a hump day at OU day of service, and at that hump day, we provided food for everybody doing the activities. We also wanted to sponsor a table to give back to students and provide some value to the community.”

A variety of projects were available for participants to work on. These projects include making dog toys out of old t-shirts, creating cat toys out of empty toilet paper rolls, making holiday cards for veterans, creating tie blankets and assembling literacy kits.

Students were not only helping the community, but themselves at OU Day of Service — the opportunity to partake in service provides benefits for all parties.

“The first thing about service and giving back is your doing a service for yourself, as it is proven that service provides a sense of happiness and belonging,” said Blackburn. “At the end of the day, you are helping out a community. Whether it is humans, dogs, or the earth, no matter what we’re doing this day, you’re influencing the community in some type of way.”

The atmosphere of the event was laid back and fun. It gave people an opportunity to meet others, service the community and have a good time.

“When we booked the rooms, the first thing I told them was we wanted the big wall of the banquet room to be open,” Blackburn said. “Because to me, it is so much more inviting when that wall is open. Students can walk by and see other students in there talking and having fun. The vibe of it was chill, we had the wall open, music playing, a slideshow on the screen on loop to show who was sponsoring the tables. It was super inviting and fun.”

Participants were provided with an enjoyable experience while servicing the community at the same time.

“I definitely think it was something that students enjoyed,” Emily Bernas, graduate assistant in the LVC, said. “They were kind of plotting out how they were going to spend their time. It was a fun atmosphere as they got to do service projects without realizing that they were doing service projects.”

A collaborative effort helped create this event.

“First, we reached out to different student organizations to see if they wanted to sponsor a table,” Bernas said. “So we had like five or six different student organizations sponsor a table. Our second step was to reach out to students and let them know that this is a thing and it’s a great way to get service hours. The third step was trying to figure out projects and what organization were able to use those projects.”

Last year’s OU day of service event was not able to happen in person due to the pandemic. So in place of it, activity kits were created that volunteers could pick up and take home. Once the activities were completed, they were to be dropped back off.

For those interested in participating in future events happening on-campus, visit GrizzOrgs.